The return of the House of Faberge

Today, Faberge are still proud to have been "Jewellers to the Tsar."

The Russian jewellers have relaunched their brand with a new collection of fine jewellery - the first to bear the Faberge family name since 1917.

Faberge hopes to be a global luxury brand to rival the likes of Cartier, Tiffany and Co and Bulgari.

The collection features 100 items, each one-of-a-kind and ranging in price from $40,000 to an incredible $7m.

They were designed by the French jeweller Frederic Zaavy, with rings, brooches, earrings and bracelets inspired by flowers and Russian folklore.

Items include a gem-encrusted seahorse brooch, priced at $439,000.

The House of Faberge rose to prominence in 1885 when the Tsar commissioned Carl Faberge's jewellers to produce a decorated egg each year as a gift to the Tsarina.

Today, Faberge is most famous for those legendary eggs - but it is unlikely that the "new" Faberge will resurrect them.

"Our focus for today is on the contemporary," Mark Dunhill, chief executive of Faberge, told the BBC.

A Russian Imperial Faberge Egg
Although the brand of Faberge has been misused over the years, Mr Dunhill is confident that he can turn it into a billion dollar "super brand."

In 1918, the House of Faberge was nationalised, and its stock confiscated. Until recently, the brand was used by Unilever to sell aftershave and cosmetics.

The company is now majority owned by Pallinghurst Resources, a South African Mining and investment firm who bought Faberge from Unilever in 2007.

"We believe its reputation is intact, despite being used and misused. Its mystique has survived," said Mr Dunhill.

Faberge's new collection was launched at Goodwood House in Sussex, UK, two weeks ago.

The new Faberge has yet to make any sales, but says that it has seen "good interest" from prospective clients worldwide, according to the BBC.

Meanwhile, a collection of recently discovered historic Faberge items belonging to the fallen Tsar Nicholas II will be auctioned at Sotheby's. They were found after 91 years of being stashed in a Swedish government archive.

The sale will take place at Sotheby's, London in November.


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