If you go to Google.com today, you'll see six beautifully gilded easter eggs with the first 'G' and the 'e' popping out of their eggs. The Doodle celebrates the 166th birthday of Peter Carl Faberge, the Russian jeweler best known for his gilded Easter eggs. The eggs that he is famous for are notably named after him and are called Faberge eggs. His eggs used gems and precious metals, instead of the mundane materials that regular Easter eggs used. Faberge was born on the 30th of May, 1846 in St. Petersburg, Russia to a jeweler. His initial education took place in Russia, however, when he was 14, his family moved to Dresden in Germany. It is likely that he took a a course in the Dresden Arts and Crafts School. When he was 22, he undertook a European tour, meeting and learning from goldsmiths, along the way. In 1872, he returned to St. Petersburg and learned under his father's trusted workmaster, Hiskias Pendin.

Gilded eggs on Google.com

Gilded eggs on Google.com

In 1882, when Pendin passed away, Faberge took over his father's jewelry firm. He also was awarded the title Master Goldsmith, so he was able to use that hallmark as well as that of his father's firm. The Faberge eggs made their appearance in 1885 when the Tsar of Russia commissioned the Faberge firm to make an egg for his wife. The original egg was crafted from gold with a white “enamel” shell that opened to reveal a matte yellow gold yolk. This yolk then opened to reveal a multi-coloured gold hen. The hen opened to reveal a miniature replica of the Imperial Crown. The following year, another egg was commissioned.

Following the second gift, Faberge was given complete freedom to make his eggs, however he wanted under the condition that any Imperial eggs were to contain surprises. He made a total of 50 eggs in his lifetime between 1885 to 1917, of which 42 have survived. There was no making of eggs between 1904 and 1905 because of the Russo-Japanese war. Eggs were planned for 1918, however the plan didn't go through because Nicholas II and his family had been assassinated that year. Faberge died on the 24th of September, 1920.

Publish date: May 30, 2012 10:28 am| Modified date: December 18, 2013 10:23 pm

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