The Fabergé x Regent ‘Journey in Jewels’ Egg Objet is the pièce de résistance of Regent’s1600-piece art collection now on display aboard its newest ship, Seven Seas Grandeur™, and is the first Fabergé egg to permanently reside at sea.
Sarah Fabergé, Founding Member of the Fabergé Heritage Council and great-granddaughter of Peter Carl Fabergé, was appointed by Regent as Godmother of Seven Seas Grandeur™, and unveiled the ‘Journey in Jewels’ egg at the ship’s christening ceremony in Miami, Florida on 10th December 2023.
While Sarah performed her Godmother duties at the elegant and exclusive gala event, she wore bespoke Fabergé x Regent Earrings and Ring, inspired by ‘Journey in Jewels’; these unique creations will be auctioned to raise funds for the Gemfields Foundation.
“I am honored to have been chosen as Godmother to this exceptional new ship which, like Fabergé, has been inspired by the past and reimagined for the future,” said Sarah Fabergé.
As Godmother, Sarah Fabergé will host a Fabergé Spotlight Voyage aboard Seven Seas Grandeur™, sailing 1st July 2024, enveloping luxury travelers into the world of Fabergé with small group master-class programmes, exclusive access to unique and intimate shore-side tours, jewelled egg demonstrations and lectures and screenings.
Crafted in England, the unique Fabergé x Regent ‘Journey in Jewels’ is inspired by the seven seas that Regent’s ships traverse, and features an array of colourful gemstones which evoke the colours of the ocean, alongside guilloché enamel and ombre lacquering to represent not only the waters, but also the sunrises and sunset witnessed aboard Regent’s ships.
Designed by Liisa Tallgren, Fabergé’s Head of Design, and overseen by Josina von dem Bussche-Kessell, Fabergé’s Creative Director, the Fabergé x Regent ‘Journey in Jewels’ Egg Objet has been crafted using time-honoured techniques, with the production of the piece overseen by Fabergé Workmaster, Paul Jones, at his workshop in southern England. Jones was also responsible for the creation of the Fabergé x Game of Thrones and Fabergé x Rolls-Royce Motor Cars egg objets. The complete journey from sketch to final creation for ‘Journey in Jewels’ has taken a year and a half to come to fruition.
The outer ‘shell’ of the egg has been enamelled in an ombre of blues, representative of the colors of the sea. This ‘shell’ consists of seven intricate blades which, just like a wave, each break into a ‘sea foam’ of pearls and white diamonds at the tips in a truly extraordinary aesthetic feat.
The majestic egg sits upon a plinth adorned with emeralds, tsavorites, blue sapphires and white diamonds, set in Fabergé’s ‘Emotion’ pavé style, with colourful gems specially chosen to evoke the colors of the ocean. This gem-set plinth is anchored to a stand which reflects layers of waves accented with pearls and diamonds at the edges; this design element is more geometric and symmetrical in a nod to the helm of Seven Seas Grandeur™.
As with all Fabergé eggs, there is more than meets the eye. By rotating the pearl ‘helm’ anti-clockwise, the seven blades, a number specially chosen to represent the ‘seven seas’, delicately open in unison to reveal a surprise hidden within.
As the egg opens, you can see that the interior of the blades have been meticulously lacquered in a style that is reminiscent of the appearance of water ripples, with diamond-set crests of waves placed at intervals to conjure up images of the sea. This lacquering technique is highly complex and takes many years of training before it can be accomplished.
Once open, your eyes are then drawn to the Fabergé surprise nestled inside – another hand-painted egg, which is cradled by a ‘wave’ and delicately rotates, revealing the changing gradient of colours of the sunrises and sunsets at sea, and seasonal elements you can witness aboard Seven Seas Grandeur™. This egg has also been decorated with an abundance of sparkling gemstones, including a diamond-set frost pattern which wraps around the egg surprise, inspired by the Fabergé Winter Egg of 1913. The Winter Egg is poignant, as it was designed by Alma Pihl, a female Finnish designer who worked with Fabergé. Peter Carl Fabergé liked to push the boundaries and was a pioneer, and it was highly unusual for a female to be in the workshops in the early 1900s, let along be holding the position of designer. But he celebrated Pihl’s talent, and she went on to produce some of Fabergé’s most celebrated pre-1917 creations. Today, the spirit of Pihl lives on through Fabergé’s Head of Design, Liisa Tallgren, a female designer also born and raised in Finland.
Hand-carved mother-of-pearl clouds, alongside white opals set in 18k yellow gold, are also featured and are revealed as the egg turns – the warmth of the yellow gold evokes the sunshine, and the opals represent the rainbows which emerge through the clash of weather.
In two ground-breaking firsts, Fabergé has applied the complex technique of ombre lacquering to the egg, and has developed a new bespoke mechanism which powers the rotation of the inner egg surprise. The intricate development of this mechanism has taken many months to perfect and has been overseen by Fabergé’s Workmaster, Paul Jones, who has over 40 years of experience.
It takes an average of 10 years for Jones’s small team of craftspeople to train on the art of hand-painting in an ombre style of lacquering – and only a small number of craftspeople are experienced in this technique. The ombre blend has to be built carefully in a number of layers and using colours which melt at a similar temperature to ensure the lighter and darker blue colours sit perfectly together.
The blue guilloché enamel also seen on the egg provides an almost liquid-like effect. Peter Carl Fabergé was considered a genius of the ancient technique of enamelling, offering over 145 new colours, and establishing himself as a true pioneer in the field, a legacy that the Maison proudly continues today. Enamelling is a seemingly magical process by which powdered coloured glass is bonded to a surface via heat of around 800 degrees centigrade – it’s a delicate art, a few seconds too long in the kiln and the piece will need to be re-started from scratch. It takes at least three layers and five firings in the kiln to create the desired translucent effect, to best showcase the beauty of the light reflecting off the enamel and the depth of the detail that lies beneath on the outer egg blades and the egg’s stand and ‘helm’.
Liisa Tallgren, Fabergé’s Head of Design says of the creation: “The Fabergé x Regent ‘Journey in Jewels’ Egg Objet is inspired by the colors of the sea, such as the blues and the greens of the water that reflect and sparkle in sunlight. It’s also inspired by water in its different forms – smooth surfaces, ripples, waves and tunnels and white foam, droplets and sharp ice crystals. The rotating surprise nestled inside has been painted with ombre lacquer in colours which reflect the ever changing skies at sea; sunsets and sunrises accompanied by clouds and ice and raindrops, which unite to create the colours of the rainbow that are captured in the opals.
I’ve been very fortunate to have travelled onboard one of Regent’s ships, and was taken aback by the level of service and care from the staff, with every little detail perfected – from interior design to cuisine and excursions on land. I was inspired by the whole experience and spent hours on the deck, watching the changing colours of the sky that were reflected on the water, and particularly remember sailing in Turkey, somewhere between Bodrum and Antalya, at sunset when the whole sky and sea were pink, orange and yellow, sailing past purple and lilac islands, evoking scenery from a fairytale which I’ll never forget. What I love about cruising is that you can visit so many destinations without having to repack because the suite is your home that travels with you.”
Bespoke Fabergé x Regent Jewellery Auctioned for the Gemfields Foundation
As part of Fabergé’s partnership with Regent, the jewellery Maison has created a set of bespoke pair of earrings and matching ring, which were worn by Sarah Fabergé, Seven Seas Grandeur's Godmother, during the christening ceremony.
These exquisite creations, crafted from 18k white gold, hand-painted with blue guilloché enamel and set with white diamonds and pearls, are on display on Seven Seas Grandeur’s, christening voyage and were opened for auction during the christening event.
The auction will be live on RSSC.com from 11th to 22nd December 2023, and the money raised will go to the Gemfields Foundation, the charitable arm of Gemfields, which is the parent company of Fabergé. The Foundation’s purpose is to further the prevention or relief of poverty and advance wildlife conservation in sub-Saharan Africa. To date, the UK-registered charity has
funded the construction of several primary schools and a solar-powered computer laboratory. Notably, the charity's impactful projects span countries which Regent visits, such as Madagascar and Mozambique. This auction is open exclusively to residents of the USA, UK, EU, Japan, UAE, Dubai and Canada.