Natalia N. Sapfirova
Advertisements of C. Faberge Company
Despite a considerable amount of scientific research on the subject of Faberge activity, the name of great Russian jeweler still have many mysteries to the modern world. The history of the company now is very interesting for a wide audience, and members of this audience are located in different parts of the globe. Research of this theme can open some new questions. We will try to answer some of them in this article and provide readers with clarifying information.
The unifying theme for a further presentation will be the advertisement of the firm of Supplier of the Highest Court, C. Faberge. This advertising contains a logo, exact information regarding the start of production work, addresses, telephones, type of the activities, awards. Also, this ad can be used as illustration of typical style preferences of the Russian Empire pre-revolutionary era.
In particular, in advertising which placed in catalog of the Paris World Exhibition in 1900, the firm C. Faberge reports an exact branches opening dates. For St. Petersburg branch the date of production start is August 1842, for Moscow branch is February 1, 1887, for Odessa branch - January 1, 1900. According to Valentin V. Skurlov, the candidate of art history and Faberge scientist from St. Petersburg, in a memorandum of His Imperial Majesty the eldest son of C. Faberge, Eugene Faberge marks the date of opening Odessa branch as 1900. This ad, in its turn, complements the information with an exact date - January 1, 1900.
More than, this ad contains a very interesting information regarding real address of Odessa shop. As known, a store of the firm C. Faberge was located at the address: Deribasovskaya street, 31. However, the advertisement informs the address of Deribasovskaya, 24. The author asked Odessa historians to check this information and they found out - they haven't info regarding a store of C. Faberge at the both address in this period. But there must be a reason for the fact of this address, which indicated in the advertisement of K. Faberge. Therefore, this moment in history of the company is still open and we will hope that someyime we will get an answer to it.
One of questions from admirers of the talent of K. Faberge is concerned in spelling of his name. In Russian version - K. FABERGE, in French - C. FABERGÉ. The initial name in the Russian version corresponds to "K", in French - "C". This difference can be simply explained. The French version of the name is written as Charles. Consequently, the Latin initial "C" corresponds to writing the name in French.
By the above, we can add that the history of advertising at the turn of the XIX-XX centuries has many examples of writing in Russian and French simultaneously or with the borrowing of the French language for trade names, including those of jewelers. For example, in the jeweler Joseph Marshak in Kiev (according to A.K. Snowman - one of C. Faberge competitors) on the facade of the jewelry factory and the store was a sign in French. Also, a jubilee album with the history of the Kiev firm was in two languages. We can find French in the names of shops. Some market participants accents the dignity of their goods or services by reference to the Parisian origin - "goods from Paris", "a master from Paris", etc.
Some readers asks regarding a Nizhny Novgorod Fair, was in this Fair a store and what was the mode of operation. This was also established by Valentin V. Skurlov in 1997. The sale of jewelery by C. Faberge was a 40 days in year in room number 26, a place in the Nizhny Novgorod Fair.
Advertising of C. Faberge from 1900 reports that at an All-Russian Exhibition in Nizhny Novgorod in 1896 the company was awarded the right to display the State Emblem. But this fact has already been established.
We have an interesting information from the advertisement of the newspaper "Illustrated Russia", which came out during the Russian emigration in Paris from 1924 to 1939. The advertisement of the successors of C. Faberge business has been placed from 1927 to 1935. The text of the advertisement hasn't been changed until 1935 and showed that Faberge & Co., which located on Saunier Street (Saulnier - fr.), 23, performed orders, also was engaged in buying and selling, as well as receiving diamonds, pearls, precious stones. In 1935 the announcement was supplemented by the fact that the firm buys the products of the firm K. Faberge.
Totally, we should note that jewelry art is rather multi-faceted and in miniature reflects many kinds of arts, such as elegant - painting, sculpture and architecture, and applied art. Advertising of jewelry production was to briefly and capacitively convey the features of each jewelry firm. Manufacturers of jewelry and other products, being participants in trade relations, took care of advertising, which, if you want to careful study, can be a source of valuable information and reflect the interests of its era.
In this case, it's worth noting an individual approach to advertising at the firm C. Faberge. In scientific research V. Skurlov notes that after 1902, when a first and last exhibition of Faberge's products took place in the house of von Derviz in St. Petersburg, the Carl Faberge stopped issuing new Price Lists and reduced the number of advertisements in print media. This is due to fact that, after the World Exhibition in Paris in 1900 the firm received a large number of orders and has no ability to produce them in time. In 1900, when he asked by a journalist: "Probably, you received a lot of orders?" the Carl Faberge answered the question: "Who will execute these orders? Where i can find the masters?"
The second reason was the firm has switched to individual service and didn't to publish sketches. The Price List of 1899 have a following note - "The firm does not publish the best projects in order to avoid falsification." Copyright protection as in Russia and as in other countries was just started to form.
The same situation was in the execution processes of orders for His Majesty's Cabinet. Franz Birbaum was complained that other firms - Suppliers of the Highest Court took Faberge projects without bearing the cost of maintaining the studio artists, performed these projects cheaper, and won the orders of His Majesty's Cabinet.
The author is grateful to Valentin V. Skurlov for scientific consultations.