Maria Doulton: Secret Garden is the name of Fabergé's new high jewellery collection, and it goes back to the idea that Carl Fabergé was very fond of making jewels in the form of flowers. Carl Fabergé was a daring man, and he brought to people's minds the idea that you could have beautiful objects making use of materials that perhaps had never been combined before. Rather than just present the biggest diamond or the largest necklace, what he did was make combinations that were delightful, and that intrigued people.
Natalia, can you tell me the inspiration behind this incredible collection?
Natalia Shuageva: Well, it started with an original idea that was about flowers. Peter Carl Fabergé was very famous for his flower studies.
Maria Doulton: Fabergé has literally painted with gemstones, and this jeweller is known as the artist jeweller, so it is quite fitting that a wide array of coloured stones are chosen and put together as an artist would. This collection is in fact also inspired by how Chagall approached painting, with those loose, open brushstrokes that give a sense of joy and informality despite the great technique and skills that are required to bring all these stones together.
Natalia Shuageva: All Fabergé designs retain the artist jeweller aesthetics, through the use of various techniques and materials, and all this with the highest level of craftsmanship.
Maria Doulton: This work, combining these solid colours with these lighter colours, is very subtle, but overall the effect is so different and so surprising, it really is as refreshing as a freshly picked bunch of flowers. We have sapphires, spinels, emeralds, diamonds, and even this carved Siberian jade that forms the leaves of the plant.
Fabergé's Imperial Easter eggs were designed to delight, with a secret popping out of each egg. In the same way, these jewels also have a little secret of their own for you to discover. All the jewels in this collection are one-offs, and you will never see another one made like this again, but should you require something to your exact specifications, Fabergé also takes on bespoke commissions.
I think that when you find out that it has taken a year to assemble these stones, to carve them, to find the craftsmen who can do the enamelling, who can do all the different types of setting, capable of making those flexible articulations, you realise that a masterpiece is really a coming together of many exceptional people and materials, but always with an element of surprise, and that I think is something that Carl Fabergé himself would have appreciated.
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