Gustav Fabergé (1814 in Pernau – 1893 in Dresden) was a Baltic German jeweller and father of Peter Carl Fabergé, maker of Fabergé eggs. He established his own business in Saint Petersburg, which his son inherited.
Life and career
Gustav Fabergé, a Baltic German, was born in the city of Pernau (now Pärnu) in Livonia (present-day Estonia). His father, the artisan Pierre Favry (1768–1858; later Fabrier), moved to the Baltic province of Livonia, then part of the Russian Empire. Pierre had moved there by 1800 from the German city of Schwedt an der Oder. He married a Silesian merchant’s daughter named Maria Louisa Elsner (1776–1855). His family were Huguenots from Picardy living in Germany, having fled religious persecution in France at the end of the 17th century, after the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes. In 1796, he registered as a master joiner in Pärnu under the names of Peter Fabrier in 1796 and Peter Faberg in 1808. Their son Gustav was born in Pärnu, where he adopted the surname of Faberge in 1828. Gustav was apprenticed to Andreas Ferdinand Spiegel in St Petersburg. He then worked for Johann Wilhelm Keibel in the 1830s.
Gustav qualified as a master in 1841. In 1842, he opened the jewellery firm House of Fabergé in St Petersburg and married Charlotte Maria Fabergé (born Jungstedt), the daughter of a Danish artist. He employed Johann Alexander Gunst, Johann Eckhardt and since 1857 August Wilhelm Holmström. Peter Carl Fabergé was initially educated in St Petersburg. In 1860, Gustav Fabergé retired and, together with his wife and son, moved to Dresden, leaving the business in the hands of Peter Hiskias Pending and V. A. Zaianchkovski. In Dresden, they lived at Walpurgisstraße and Victoriastraße, a few minutes’ walk from the Castle and the famous jewellery collection Grünes Gewölbe, with the important jewellery of Johann Melchior Dinglinger. Peter Carl continued his education in Dresden. A second son, Agathon, was born to the couple two years later.
In 1864, Peter Carl Fabergé embarked upon a Grand Tour of Europe. He received tuition from respected goldsmiths in Germany, France and England, attended a course at Schloss’s Commercial College in Paris, and viewed the objects in the galleries of Europe’s leading museums. He returned to St Petersburg and married Augusta Julia Jacobs. For the following ten years, his father's trusted work master Peter Hiskias Pendin acted as his mentor and tutor. Upon Pendin's death in 1882, Peter Carl took over the business and was joined by his brother Agathon Fabergé.
Gustav Fabergé lived in Dresden with his wife until both of them passed away in 1893. He was cremated in Gotha and is buried next to his wife’s remains at Trinitatisfriedhof cemetery in Dresden. A grave stone does not exist anymore.
Statue in Pärnu
Gustav Fabergé monument was opened in Pärnu on January 3, 2015 in the year of the bicentenary of his birth. The bronze statue is a gift to the city from Alexander Tenzo, the founder of TENZO jewellery house. Composition authors Alexander Tenzo and Vladislav Yakovsky. Sculptor Eugeny Burkov. The statue was mounted with support of the City Government of Pärnu and Pärnu Fabergé Society represented by Tiina Ojaste and Toomas Kuter.
- "Biografie von".
- "Gustav Fabergé".
- "Mitten in Dresden. Zaren-Juweliere: Geheim-Grab der Fabergé-Familie entdeckt".
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- Teet Roosaar. Pärnut ehib Gustav Fabergé pronkskuju. Pärnu Postimees, January 6, 2015 (No. 2), p. 1.