Today’s Google Doodle is an intricate image of the search giant’s logo hidden amongst jewel-encrusted Fabergé eggs. The logo pays tribute Russian jeweler Peter Carl Fabergé, creator of the Fabergé egg, who was born on this date 166 years ago.
Each of the six eggs in the logo are trimmed with gold in his classic style; the first “G” in Google also edged in gilt, peeks out from within a ruby red Fabergé egg. The next three decorative eggs represent the “oog” in Google, while the “l” is formed of an egg perched atop an ornate stand. The red, gold-trimmed “e” is partially exposed inside a Fabergé egg laying on its side, open just enough to reveal the last letter of the logo.
Fabergé Eggs Handcrafted for Russian Royalty and Very Few Private Clients
Born May 30, 1846 in St. Petersburg, Russia, to Gustav Fabergé and Charlotte Jungstedt, Karl Gustavovich Fabergé came by his world-renowned talent honestly. His father was already a master jeweler, skilled with precious stones and metals. In 1882, Fabergé took over the family business, changing the company’s focus from jewelry to jewel-encrusted art and decorative items. He would eventually earn the title Master Goldsmith.
Fabergé eventually became the official court jeweler to the Romanov empire. Tsar Alexander III first commissioned a jeweled egg for his wife, asking that each one contain a surprise for her. Fabergé produced one egg per year for the family during Alexander’s reign, then two annually for Czar Nicholas II.
The company also commissioned works for private clients with deep pockets, such as Beatrice Ephrussi de Rothschild (pictured at right). The egg was unique in that it was one of only four created with an ornamentation surprise and a working clock. As each new hour approached, a diamond-set cockerel popped out of the top of the egg, flapping its wings, crowing and nodding its head, for 15 seconds. After the cockerel’s performance, the clock would strike the hour. According to Christie’s Auctions, only 12 such Fabergé eggs for private clients are known to have existed.
House of Fabergé Eggs Now Worth Millions
It is a widely held misconception that Fabergé handcrafted what are now the company’s highly collectible eggs himself. In fact, the House of Fabergé in Moscow employed several master jewelers and goldsmiths. Two in particular, Michael Evlampievich Perchin and Henrik Wigstrom, bore the bulk of the responsibility for the iconic Fabergé eggs.
In 2007, Christie’s auctioned off the Rothschild egg for $18.5 million, after it had been in the famous family’s possession for over a century. The previous record for a Fabergé egg sold for $9.6 million in a 2002 New York auction was shattered.
Fabergé continued on pace creating two eggs per year for the Russian Czar until 1917, when the Romanov’s were executed by the Bolsheviks. The jeweled art company was taken over, their stock confiscated. Fabergé was forced to flee Russia and died in exile on September 24, 1920, in Lausanne.
Fabergé Doodle Links to Knowledge Graph Results
Clicking on the Google Doodle takes users to a search for Peter Carl Fabergé, with results showcasing the new Google Knowledge Graph features. At the top of the right sidebar, users see a topic summary box, which displays information about Fabergé including a Wikipedia description excerpt, an image from sxuhero.com, and key facts such as date of birth and death.
Below the topic summary, Google also displays links to several others “People also search for.” The organic search results themselves illustrate how far we’ve come beyond the 10 text links format you could expect from Google even a few years ago.