As today marks 166 years since Russian jeweller Peter Carl Fabergé was born, we celebrate the occasion with a series of photographs centred around three of Fabergé’s Les Favorites de Fabergé egg pendants, exclusively created by French artist Charles Negre for AnOther.
Born in Saint Petersburg, Russia, Peter Carl Fabergé took over his family firm in 1882 and quickly developed a reputation for designing and creating exquisite jewels, including the legendary Imperial Easter eggs. Attracting a worldwide reputation amongst royalty, nobility, tycoons, industrialists and the artistic intelligentsia of Paris, Moscow, St. Petersburg and London, in 1917 the Russian Revolution brought a violent end to both the Romanov dynasty and also the House of Fabergé.
Resurrected some 90 years later in 2007, today the Fabergé house continues to embody the same luxury, opulence, innovation and unrivalled craftsmanship that its founder first imbued, under the leadership of Creative and Managing Director Katharina Flohr and her in-house creative team.
“If I had to describe this series I would call it Phantasmagoria”
Recently opening their first store in New York’s Madison Avenue, Fabergé also returned to London for the first time in nearly a century earlier this year with a new boutique located on the corner of Grafton and Bond Streets. To mark the momentus occasion the house released Les Favorites de Fabergé collection, from which the three pendants pictured origin. Interpetted by photographer and prop designer extroadinaire Negre, his main starting point was to strip down the definition of the classic Fabergé egg: “The egg by itself is a jewel case, so I tried to find the right and natural écrin/ context for each necklace”.
Initially sketching his final images from moodboards of photographs, movie stills, natural objects and keywords, Negre then constructed his small sets using sourced materials, paint, carefully positioned lighting and “some last minute improvisation”.
“My main aim was to work freely and organically with these beautiful pieces of jewellery,” explains Negre, “Each set up was really small which made it challenging but on the other hand it gave so much space to create new illusions – this is always the end reward for me.”
Creating spectacular minature realms for each of the Fabergé egg pendants to sit in, there is an element of enchantment and a dreamlike quality to Negre’s set-ups and photography. “If I had to describe this series I would call it Phantasmagoria,” he says, referencing the late 18th and 19th century form of theatre created using a modified magic lantern invented in France.
Les Favorites de Fabergé egg pendants are available from all Fabergé boutiques and clients are invited to work with a store specialist to commission one-of-a-kind pieces.
Shoot coordinated by Zoe Maughan and Agata Belcen
Text by Lucia Davies