Since his passing in 1920, so much attention has been riveted, understandably enough, on the work of Carl Faberge and his workshops, that for anything new of real historical value to be unearthed at this late stage must be regarded as genuinely exciting.
This book presents the an album of designs by his chief workmaster from 1903 to 1918, Henrik Wigstrom, with its actual depictions of actual pieces in their actual sizes and actual colors.
The 'hand' of Wigstrom may be seen in his watercolors, and in the completed pieces made in his workshop.
This album also demonstrate the great precision and care that helped to catapult Faberge from the status of a small firm to that of a giant - of its time, and for all time.
This care, precision, and organization were adopted by Faberge long before the term 'quality circles' became synonymous with the transformation of the Japanese economy into a powerhouse of the last quarter of the 20th century.
In her essay on the Wigstrom workshop in this book, Ulla Tillander-Godenhielm discusses this ingenious method of production, and its repercussions on the quality, quantity and variety of Faberge's oeuvre.
Faberge had his own style, and even when some of his workmen also worked for others, the pieces they made for Faberge invariably bear his 'stylistic' signature.
His work lay in the long tradition of great artist-jewelers such as Cellini, Dinglinger and Nitot.
Most people in the field are aware to some extent of his working methods, but this book spells them out in unprecedented detail.