Writing about Faberge is as close as I will come to this famous and well known Russian silversmith since all the pieces are unfortunately outside of my financial reach.
Peter Charles Faberge was born in Russia, in St. Petersburg on May, 30th, 1846. His father Gustav, of Huguenot extraction, was an unassuming jeweller who had been independently active since 1841. In 1860, Carl Faberge accompanied his parents on their move to Dresden. From there his father sent him on a tour of Europe, with stops in Frankfurt, Florence, and Paris. Back in St. Petersburg by 1866 as a full-fledged master, Carl joined Hiskias Pendin, August Holmstrom, and Wilhelm Reimer, all of whom had been employed by his father. In 1868 a Finnish goldsmith, Erik Kollin, was attached to the firm. Four years later Carl Faberge took over his father's workshop, with Kollin as his first head workmaster.
In 1882, Agathon Faberge joined his brother Carl in St. Petersburg and worked with him for over ten years. This period was to be the richest and most creative in Faberge's oeuvre, with the quality of objects produced remaining unsurpassed.
Most of the Faberge themes (the Imperial Easter eggs, animals, flowers, and objects of vertu in hard stones or precious metals) were introduced during this period and under the direction of the head workmaster, Mikhail Perkhin (1886-1903). By the 1890's Faberge had outstripped his competitors in the field of objects and silver and important commissions were undertaken for the Coronation festivities of 1896. Trips made by the Imperial Family to Denmark and to London were a source of excellent business for Faberge, since many of their presents came from his workshops.