AWARD-WINNING DOCUMENTARY EXAMINES THE EXTRAORDINARY HISTORY BEHIND THE FABERGÉ DYNASTY 100 YEARS AFTER THE RUSSIAN REVOLUTION
World’s Most Valuable Easter Egg Revealed on Film Thanks to Exclusive Access
Fabergé: A Life of its Own available on iTunes, On Demand, DVD, and Blu-ray on April 10, 2017
March 24, 2017…The award-winning documentary Fabergé: A Life of Its Own will be released on iTunes, On Demand, DVD, and Blu-ray on April 10, 2017, in the centennial year of the Russian Revolution. The feature-length film introduces new footage revealing the most valuable Imperial Egg designed by the House of Fabergé—the exquisite Winter Egg of 1913 commissioned by Tsar Nicholas II for his mother. Sold at auction in 2002 to a private collector for $9.6 million (now estimated to be worth $60 million), the Winter Egg is generally perceived by Fabergé authorities to be among the most spectacular and desirable Fabergé objects ever produced.
Fabergé: A Life of its Own charts the rich history behind the iconic company, from the rise of “artist jeweller” Peter Carl Fabergé (1846‒1920) in Imperial Russia to the enduring legacy of Fabergé today. The documentary also presents hundreds of other superb Fabergé pieces in intricate detail, with many revealed on film for the first time.
The Winter Egg is emblematic of the spectacular workmanship that distinguished Fabergé from other jewellers. Made of rock crystal carved to resemble frost patterns, the Winter Egg is ornamented with platinum and studded with over 3,000 diamonds. It rests on a base designed to look like a block of melting ice. The surprise inside the semi-transparent egg is a delicate platinum trellis basket holding tiny flowers made from white quartz, nephrite, gold, and garnets set in “moss” made of gold.
This Imperial Egg was designed by Alma Pihl, a 23-year-old woman who worked for Fabergé in St. Petersburg. A distinct anomaly as a female designer in the male-dominated studio, Pihl won the commission after designing a series of diamond snowflakes for a Fabergé client.
Fabergé: A Life of Its Own is written and directed by Patrick Mark and produced by Mark, Alice Ilich, and Ludovic Lindsay, with Executive Producer Mark Stewart. Shot in multiple locations across Europe, the U.S., and Russia, the film features Fabergé pieces by gracious courtesy of Her Majesty the Queen in London, His Serene Highness Prince Albert in Monaco, and many more of the world’s great collectors. The film also includes interviews with Tatiana and Sarah Fabergé and a distinguished group of international museum curators, independent art experts, and historians.
House of Fabergé
Peter Carl Fabergé rose to prominence in Russia’s Imperial capital, where his meticulous craftsmanship earned his company the esteemed regular patronage of Tsar Alexander III and his son and successor Nicholas II. Both rulers regularly gave Fabergé creations as prestigious gifts to foreign rulers and dignitaries. Every piece was immaculately finished, sparkling with diamonds, gold and platinum or gently glowing with the firm’s signature guilloché enamels. Fabergé’s extraordinary Imperial Eggs with hidden surprises inside were commissioned as Easter gifts from the last two Tsars for their Tsarinas and the Dowager Empress. Only 50 Imperial Eggs were made and 42 are known to survive.
Following the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917, most of the Fabergé family fled Russia for Switzerland. Pihl ultimately settled in Finland where she became a teacher. The film reveals how the company’s intricate creations were then scattered around the world to enter exclusive private collections and distinguished public institutions. The Fabergé brand is now a household name synonymous with wealth and opulence through its legacy and current collections of fine jewellery and timepieces.
Writer/Director Patrick Mark said, “Making this film has been a wonderful experience. Holding a Fabergé egg in your hands is a truly intimate experience because they were such personal gifts, each one marking a particular moment in the lives of the ultimately tragic Romanovs. These emotional echoes, added to the incredible workmanship, make Fabergé’s creations endlessly fascinating.”
Producer Alice Ilich said, “In making the film, our greatest stroke of good fortune was accessing Fabergé’s Winter Egg of 1913. Many Fabergé authorities consider this to be the Holy Grail, the single most remarkable object ever created by the company. The effect perfectly captures the end of the unforgiving Russian winter, the arrival of Easter, and promise of spring. We are thrilled to share exclusive footage with audiences around the world.”
About Mark Stewart Productions
Mark Stewart Productions is an independent film production company based in London. The company’s recent theatrical releases include The Last Man on the Moon (2014), the award-winning and critically acclaimed biopic about Apollo 17 astronaut Captain Gene Cernan; Fabergé: A Life of Its Own (2014); and Weekend of a Champion (2013), a revamped version of Roman Polanski’s lost film about the 1971 Monaco Grand Prix.
Executive Producer - Mark Stewart
Mark Stewart’s films and documentaries have won multiple awards in both cinema and television categories and have examined diverse subjects from ancient Egypt and Formula 1 motorcars to space travel and aviation history. Stewart is a son of triple Formula 1 World Champion Sir Jackie Stewart.
Writer/Director - Patrick Mark
A documentary filmmaker with more than 40 films to his credit, Patrick Mark is a multiple award-winning director, producer, and writer. His subjects have included art, culture, exploration, and current affairs. Alongside feature documentaries for international theatrical release, he has delivered commissions for broadcasters such as National Geographic, Discovery, Smithsonian Networks, NBC, BBC, Channel 4, ITV, RTE, and RAI. He has particular experience producing, directing, and writing in India, including the critically acclaimed The Maharajas’ Motor Car (2009).
Producer – Alice Ilich
A world-renowned Russian art expert with years of experience in the Russian Works of Art departments for Christie’s in Geneva, London, and New York, Alice Ilich divides her time between her home in Sydney, Australia, work visits to London, and her ancestral home in Belgrade. She has a special interest in Fabergé and is recognized as a world authority on the subject. She re-discovered the Winter Egg of 1913, in a private collection in the 1990s, after it had disappeared for decades.
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