Fabergé Museum
Fabergé Museum was opened in by Russian art collector Alexander Ivanov
Alexander Ivanov (art collector)
Alexander Ivanov is a Russian art collector who lives in Moscow. He is best known for the Fabergé Museum in Baden-Baden, which is the first private Russian-owned museum outside of Russia. Ivanov has no business holdings or interests, but the value of his massive art collection makes him a...

 in the German spa city of Baden-Baden
Baden-Baden is a spa town in Baden-Württemberg, Germany. It is located on the western foothills of the Black Forest, on the banks of the Oos River, in the region of Karlsruhe...



The most significant item in the museum's collection is the Rothschild Fabergé egg, that was made as an engagement gift from Béatrice Ephrussi de Rothschild
Béatrice Ephrussi de Rothschild
Charlotte Béatrice de Rothschild was a French socialite, art collector, and a member of the prominent Rothschild banking family of France.- Biography :...

 to her brother's fiance. Ivanov bought it at the auction house Christie’s in London on Nov. 28, 2007, for nine million pounds. because he thinks that it’s the “finest ever” made by Fabergé
Fabergé may refer to:*House of Fabergé, a Russian jewelry firm founded by Gustav Faberge in 1842*Fabergé workmaster, goldsmiths who produced jewelry for the House of Fabergé*Fabergé eggs, the most famous works of the House of Faberge...

Besides the Rothschild Fabergé Egg, other items in the museum collection include a rare silver decanter in the form of a rabbit, and the last Fabergé Egg, the Karelian Birch egg
Karelian Birch (Fabergé egg)
The Karelian Birch egg, also known as Karelian Birch or the Birch Egg, is a Fabergé egg, one of two Easter eggs made under the supervision of Peter Carl Fabergé in 1917 for the last Tsar of Russia Nicholas II. It was the second to last Fabergé egg made, before Constellation...

 made of Karelian birch with gold and diamonds for Easter 1917. Czar Nicholas II
Nicholas II of Russia
Nicholas II was the last Emperor of Russia, Grand Prince of Finland, and titular King of Poland. His official short title was Nicholas II, Emperor and Autocrat of All the Russias and he is known as Saint Nicholas the Passion-Bearer by the Russian Orthodox Church.Nicholas II ruled from 1894 until...

, however, was deposed before he could give it to his mother. When Ivanov first bought the Karelian egg, some experts resisted because its existence wasn’t known previously. Ivanov now has documents found in the Russian state archives proving the egg is genuine.

Faberge was founded in St. Petersburg in 1842, and it was an official supplier to the Russian Imperial court from 1885 to 1917. It also supplied high-end luxury goods to the Russian and European aristocracy. Besides the czars, clients include the Queen of England, and the royal family of Siam (now Thailand). Faberge was closed after the Bolsheviks seized power in 1917, and its exquisite items were almost forgotten and no longer cherished. The company’s artworks became popular again in the 1960s with Western collectors, led by Malcolm Forbes. Prices rose to records in the early part of the 21st century thanks to Russians such as Ivanov who took a fancy to fine artworks that comprise their country’s heritage.

Ivanov said his museum building cost about 17 million euros to buy and renovate, including a 1 million euro security system. He chose Baden-Baden, near Germany’s western border, because it’s “quiet and nice, middle in Europe, close to France and Switzerland, a resort for the rich, and historically it has always been the most popular resort for Russians.”

Ivanov said that one reason that he opened the museum in Germany was due to safety concerns. He told Britain's Independent newspaper: "It's very difficult [in Russia] because of all the administrative barriers [...] You have to be indebted to someone, and you can never feel that your collection is safe – not from the state, not from bandits, not from anyone. In Germany we spend serious money on security of course, but at least you know that the state itself won't do anything."

In its first 12 months, the Faberge Museum in Baden Baden made a profit of about 500,000 euros, but it had expected a profit of as much as 1 million euros. Ivanov had expected a million visitors a year at 10 euros a ticket. This was in large part due to the fact that in April 2009, just a month before the official opening, a company calling itself Faberge Ltd. that is registered in the Cayman Islands-based company owned by the Gilbertson family of South Africa, filed a lawsuit over rights to the Faberge trademark. This made the Faberge museum’s first year a difficult one. While the case was pending, the museum couldn’t use the Faberge name, which meant no advertising or even a sign on the door. In January 2010, a German court ruled in favor of the Faberge Museum, and it immediately began to resume functioning with full right to use the Faberge name.

A new wing is planned for the Fabergé Museum that will add more than 600 meters of exhibition space for European Old Master paintings and pre-Columbian jewelry from Peru. More than 2,000 square meters (21,527 square feet) will also be created to house Ivanov's vintage car collection. He has about 50 American and European antique cars, all of which are in excellent condition and which date from the late 1890s to 1930. Ivanov also plans to open a Fabergé Museum in Dubrovnik
Dubrovnik is a Croatian city on the Adriatic Sea coast, positioned at the terminal end of the Isthmus of Dubrovnik. It is one of the most prominent tourist destinations on the Adriatic, a seaport and the centre of Dubrovnik-Neretva county. Its total population is 42,641...

, and negotiations continue with the city government.
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