New Delhi: The doodle on the Google home page on Wednesday honours Peter Carl Faberge on his 166th birthday. Faberge was a renowned Russian jeweller best known for his ornate Easter eggs that he created for the last two generationns of the Russian imperial family - he Romanovs. [Images]
Born on May 30, 1846 in St. Petersburg, Peter Carl Fabergé honed his jewellery skills in Germany, France and England and later joined his father's business in 1870.
He won the gold medal at the 1882 Pan-Russian Exhibition in Moscow and this feat got his achievement noticed in Russia. In 1885 he was appointed as the court jeweller of the Romanov Dynasty, and the work that he did for the last two Czars that earned him worldwide fame.
The Russian royals presented exquisite Easter gifts as part of a long running tradiution. Fabergé was asked to make his first Easter egg by Czar Alexander III in 1885 which the Czar gifted to his Danish wife Empress Maria Feodorovna. The first egg contained a jewelled hen.
Quite like today's much awaited electronic gadgets, the design of each of Peter Carl Fabergé's Easter eggs was a closely guarded secret before it was officially handed over to the royal family.
During the reign of Alexander III, Fabergé made one Easter egg every year. Following the death of his father when Nicolas II ascended to the Russian throne in 1894, Fabergé made two eggs - one for the current Czar's mother Maria Feodorovna and another for the Czarina Alexandra Feodorovna.
The Easter egg tradition continued (with a brief pause during the Russo-Japanese War 1904-1905) till the October Revolution of 1917 that overthrew monarchy in Russia and established a communist government that soon seized Fabergé's assets, including his company. Fabergé fled to Switzerland where he died in exile on September 24, 1920.
About three-and-a-half years ago nine of these world famous eggs were in India and were on display at New Delhi's National Museum from late December 2008 to mid-January 2009. The nine Imperial Easter Eggs were valued at $26 million and included the much-celebrated Coronation Easter Egg from 1897.
June 1935: Richly decorated and highly-ornate Faberge eggs, embellished with gold and precious stones, pictured as part of a Russian Art exhibition. (Topical Press Agency/Getty Images)
Watch: James Bond and a Fabergé egg in Octopussy (1983)
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