Goodbye Amy!

Our #3 child,Amy, left high school at the end of 2010 and came to work with us here at Haighs Jewellers. Considering she was working with Mum & Dad she settled in really well and has worked with us continually over the jast 18 months while also studying externally.

I thought she would be with us for a while yet… and then along comes a young man who sweeps her off her feet & takes her away to Emerald!

After I recovered from the shock I realised that it  meant I would have to get myself back into work more! Oh well… there went the good life!!

Amy came home to join us for the Forget Me NotMasquerade Ball recently, which was very special.

We miss her terribly, but she is happy & learning all about life!


The Winner of The Hervey Bay Seafood Festival Prize!

Our Congratulations go to Joan Beatty whose voucher was drawn out of   the barrel yesterday at the Hervey Bay Seafood Festival.

Once again we are sponsors of this fantastic local event.

We supplied an 18kt handcrafted Pendant with ‘Precious Coral’, Fraser Island Cultured Pearls and Diamonds on a multi strand of Freshwater Cultured Pearls. Retail Replacement Value = $6,400.00!

To win this beautiful piece of Jewellery pictured on right you had to be there at the draw.

Such a beautiful day in Hervey Bay, blue skys with a soft breeze. The Seafood Festival was

massive with people everywhere & the smell of good seafood that was everywhere.

Our team where in the sponsors area with seafood ‘on tap.’ To say we had to waddle home would not be exaggerating!!

Congratulations to the team hosting this event, a spotight for Hervey Bay that stands in good stead on a National level.

Click on a photo to view the gallery…



The Imperial Easter Eggs

 

These exquisite artifacts of jewels and precious metals are Faberge’s finest and most famous achievements. Between 1885 and 1916 some 54 of these amazing objects were commissioned by the Tsars, Alexander III and Nicholas II, as Easter presents for the Tsarinas. 47 are known to still exist. An amazing ‘surprise’ was frequently concealed inside the egg. These eggs reflected the wealth and extravagance as well as the tastes and interests of the Russian Imperial Court.

It became tradition for Faberge himself to deliver the Easter Egg to the Empress, ever since he had created the first of the series in 1885.

There has been much discussion about the actual number of Easter Eggs, their dating and present whereabouts. Although there are published works detailing some facts about the eggs, it seems the task of establishing a definitive list of eggs seems to be impossible.

The date of the first Imperial Easter Egg was 1885. Alexander III had asked Faberge to make an egg for Easter as a present for the Tsarina, a Danish born Princess. This first Egg (“The Hen Egg”) was made of gold and opaque white enamel, and it contained a miniature hen.

Alexander III gave his wife, the Empress Marie Feodorovna, ten Easter Eggs until his death in 1894. Their son Tsar Nicholas II continued the tradition giving them as gifts not only to his wife, but his mother.

All the Eggs are highly miniaturized and the attention to detail in all areas is simply amazing. Although Faberge never reproduced the Eggs, he felt free to create similar Eggs for other customers.

A series of seven eggs called ‘The Kelch Eggs’ were produced for a wealthy Siberian gold magnate, Alexander Ferdinandovich Kelch, during the years 1898 to 1904. Five other Eggs were produced between these years for different owners.

It is fascinating to speculate at the possibility of discovering a lost or even unrecorded Imperial Easter Egg, especially when the “1913 Winter Egg” sold for $9.6million in 2002.

TO VIEW PHOTO GALLERY CLICK ON THE FIRST PHOTO

Bibliography … * ‘Faberge’-  Alexander Von Solodkoff   * Wikipedia – ‘Faberge’

 


Farewell Luke!

Staff News

Click on a photo below to view the photo gallery…

This is Luke’s last week with us, after 7 years. Friday is his last day.

Luke came to us in 2005 when he was a student in Year 12 at Urangan High. He came every Friday, sat, watched, asked questions & learned. So, in December of 2005 we signed him up as an Apprentice Jeweller. We had to put up an extra hook on the wall, so instead of a key ring, he could hang his skateboard. This was his mode of transport for quite a while.

Luke also had a passion for different hairstyles. Not only did our customers look through the workshop window to watch the boys at work, they wanted to see how Luke was wearing his hair that month. I am only sorry I didn’t think to get some extra photos of the more artistic months! J Luke has always been a strong part of our team, and as a lot of you know, our team at work is very much an extended part of our family.

He finished his Apprenticeship in 2009 and became a very talented trade qualified Manufacturing Jeweller. Luke has always had a great interest in Gemstones, originally cutting stones from a very early age.

Luke is now going to continue his studies in the field of Geology at a University in Perth. It is a big step for him, but we know that he will run with it & work very hard with the passion he shows about everything he does in his life. He will move to Perth with his long time partner, Jane-Maree, who has just finished a degree at Sunshine Coast University.

To say we will miss him will be an understatement. Gone will be the young man who fixes our computers, fixes our fish tanks, keeps us fully amazed at his cars & practical jokes. His smile brightens the whole room, and although he will be gone from our workshop he will never be gone from our hearts. We know that this isn’t a ‘goodbye’, it is a ‘see you later’!

Click on a photo below to view the photo gallery…

 


Our Christmas Wish To All…

With every passing Christmas we say the same things… the years go quicker & quicker, life is faster & faster for us all, even our children.

Even Christmas becomes a blur of shopping, preparations and finding money that we don’t have, We pretend to be those perfect people balancing the hundreds of things we have to do every day,  just trying to get organised so we can squeeze the Christmas celebrations in to those precious couple of days!

We all try to remember the ‘real’ meaning of Christmas  within the blur and some of us even try to go to church that one day of the year promising ourselves we will make more of an effort next year. Apart from all the above, I personally feel that Christmas  is a time that we try to connect to our fellow human beings, for no other reason than to reach out & touch someone’s life. To give a helping hand if needed, and to expect nothing in return. Just a smile can make someone’s life different, not to mention your own. How amazing it would be if we kept the ‘Christmas Spirit’ alive all year round!

Treat yourself  a couple of minutes to watch a short video showing the Christmas Spirit.

So our Christmas wish to you all is a Christmas full of happiness, good health, and love with all the people around you.

Merry Christmas from Stephen, Debby, Matthew, Luke, Mark & Amy.


Stephen running for Charity!

 COL PEARCE MEMORIAL CORPORATE TRIATHLON

On 13th November the Hervey Bay Triathlon Club held this annual event. The corporate teams fundraising event this year raised funds for the Cancer Council, in particular the Move your Body campaign, an effort to help stop cancer in the first place by staying fit and healthy.

Stephen did the run leg of the team for ‘Bmee’. It was an EXTREMELY hot day & he ran 3k. He tells me he enjoyed it, although the photo doesn’t quite agree, but I am very proud of him for competing to fundraise for such a good cause.


The Hope Diamond

“And the curse shall be on thee

For ever and ever…”

[English Poet, Southey]

The Hope diamond is well known for its rare colour, a sapphire-like dark blue, but above all it has acquired a reputation as the bringer of misfortune to many. Nearly all of its previous owners have encountered some sort of disaster. Frighteningly coincidental the mere mention of its name invariably leads to such questions as ‘Does it really bring bad luck?’

The earliest known facts about the blue diamond date from the middle of the seventeenth century.  It is suggested that the Kollur mine in India is its source. What is known for sure is that a man by the name of Jean Baptiste Tavernier sold a large dark blue uncut Diamond to Louis XIV of France in 1669. It was known as the ‘Tavernier Blue’. He lived a long life & died in Russia at 84 years of age, and did not labour under any ‘curse’. There is though, a lingering myth that he was torn apart by wild dogs.

Louis XIV is said to have had it cut in 1673 into the shape of a heart and worn it suspended from a ribbon around his neck.  It now had the name ‘Blue Diamond of the Crown’.

In 1749 Louis XV ordered both the blue diamond and the spinel known as the ‘Cote de Bretagne’ to be mounted into the decoration of the Golden Fleece.  The Same ornament was worn by the next king of France, Louis XVI who succeeded his grandfather in 1774.

His consort was Marie Antoinette. After she was arrested it was said that she was one of the cursed by ownership of the blue diamond, however, there is no record of her having worn it, nor is it likely that she did so because it remained in its setting in the Golden Fleece, an exclusively male ornament.

On 16th September 1792 thieves stole many priceless items with much conjecture about the truth of the event. But is known for sure was ‘The Blue Diamond’ had disappeared, never to be seen again in its original form.

Not much is known from this point until the early 1800s. From this point starts a very spooky history.

* A Dutch cutter named Wilhelm Fals[or Hals]is said to have recut the stone and then die of grief after his son, Hendrick, stole the stone.

* The son in turn committed suicide in London in 1830.

* Alternatively, a Frenchman, Francois Beaulieu, is said to have obtained the stone from a nameless suicide, presumably Hendrick, then obliged to sell it for a fraction of its true value, before dying the next day of starvation.

* After many unknown owners it came into the hands of Henry Phillip Hope somewhere between 1824 and 1830(hence the name acquired by the stone) a member of a banking family. He died at the age of 54.

* The stone was handed through many family members until it reached Sir Francis Hope. Six years later in 1893, he tried desperately to sell the stone on many occasions but was always stopped by family members and he declared bankruptcy in 1895. He eventually sold it in 1901 and the Hope family never again obtained it.

There follows another series of lurid and bizarre events which are alleged to have befallen the Diamond.

* First, a French broker, Jacques Colot [or Colet] is stated to have had it before becoming insane and committing suicide.

* An eastern Prince, Ivan Kanitowsky, either gave or loaned the diamond to a Foiles Bergere actress, Mlle. Ladre who was shot across the footlights the next day by either her lover or by the Prince.

* The prince himself was stabbed to death by revolutionaries.

* A Greek Jeweller after selling the Diamond to the Sultan of Turkey, was thrown over a precipice while riding in a car with his wife & child.

* But by far the most interesting case is of the American owner Evelyn Mclean.

Evelyn Mclean purchased the Diamond in approximately 1910. She took it to a priest to be blessed & from then on wore it as a charm, becoming inseparable from it. Although she refused to believe the legendary curse her life was marked by tragedies.

-Firstly the early death of her brother,

-Then her eldest son was run over and killed by a car when he was nine years old.

-She divorced her husband, who drank heavily and he eventually died in a mental institution,

– The crowning blow was the death of her only daughter from an overdose at the age of 25 in 1946.

– Mrs. McLean never recovered from the last of these tragedies and died from pneumonia at the age of 60 in the following year.

– Even after her death her granddaughter Evalyn McLean died in Dallas in 1967 at the age of 25.

* In 1949 Harry Winston bought Mrs. Mclean’s entire collection of Jewellery.

During the 9 years Harry Winston owned The Hope Diamond, it had travelled widely & raise millions of dollars for charity.

* On November 10 1958 Harry Winston presented the Hope Diamond to the Smithsonian Institute. It still resides there todaBibliography — Famous Diamonds… Ian Balfour

 


House Of Faberge

THE HOUSE OF ‘FABERGE

The name Faberge has always instilled ideals of beauty & historical interest in our minds.Faberge is synonymous with style and design. Most relate the name Faberge with the ‘Imperial Eater Eggs’, but most do not realise that the House of Faberge is also famous for its Jewellery, Flower Studies, Hardstone Carvings & Objects of Function.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gustav Fabergé and his wife Charlotte Jungshtedt

In 1842, Gustav Faberge opened his own retail jewelery store, “Fabergé”, in a basement shop in the capital’s fashionable Bolshaia Morskaia. The addition of the accent may have been an attempt to give the name a more explicitly French character, appealing to the Russian nobility’s. French was the language of the Russian Court and the urban nobility, and closely associated with luxury goods. Later in that year, Gustav married Charlotte Jungstedt, the daughter of Carl Jungstedt, an artist of Danish origin. In 1846, the couple had a son, Peter Carl Fabergé, popularly known as Carl Fabergé.

Carl studied in Germany, Italy & France before returning to St Petersburg in 1870 to take over his father’s goldsmith firm. By 1883 the name ‘The House Of Faberge’ appeared for the first time in an Art & Industrial Exhibition in Moscow, winning a gold medal.

In 1885 Faberge was rewarded with an appointment as Jeweller to the Imperial Court and given the right to have the Imperial Eagle incorporated into the firm’s trademark.

In the same year, at the request of Tsar Alexander III an Easter Egg was made for Empress Marie Feodorovna. It was the first of a series of 54 lavishly decorated Easter presents which followed until 1916.

By 1907 Faberge was ranked amongst the best and most famous jewellers in the world. At this time he had many branches around the world with over 500 workers and designers.

Due to W.W.I & the Civil War, The House Of Faberge closed in 1918.  Carl Faberge died in 1920 and these events brought the end to the ‘Faberge era’.

Two of his four sons (who had all been trained in the business), made the effort to build up a new business under the families name. In 1924 the firm ‘Faberge & Cie’ was registered in Paris. The objects they produced however, although most of them were signed Faberge, were only a dull & remote echo of the originals created in Russia.

It was not merely that the perfectionism which Carl Faberge had been able to maintain so consistently had disappeared; the clientele, the potential market, was taken up by established firms such as Cartier who were producing jewellery & objects in the new art deco style.

Although Faberge has changed hands several times; it still exists in Paris as an establishment specialising in modern jewellery.

 

 

Agathon Faberge

Before W.W.II collectors had been able to acquire items by Faberge which were sold by the Soviet Government either directly or through Art Dealers. When the Soviet Government sales stopped after 1945 Faberge objects became extremely rare. Prices started to rise, and copies and fakes poured on to the market. It is often difficult to decide whether an item is original, since many of the fakes are of high quality

Faberge’s work has always aroused delight and fascination. But Faberge has also been regarded as the jeweller of a decadent, autocratic regime, the creator of luxuries that are vain symbols of princely magnificence

Today he is seen in a different light, a light cast by further studies in the fields of history and of artistic influence. His place in history is that of an exceptionally creative artist-jeweller with outstanding entrepreneurial skill.

One surprising fact about Faberge’s work is that no design or even finished works from his own hand is known to exist. Our knowledge of what constitutes the Faberge style can be based only on the production of the Faberge workshops. Although we do not know of designs by Faberge or objects made with his own hands, there can be no doubt that he was strongly involved in the creation of his objects.

Faberge is known for his many styles and designs, which include;

*Imperial Easter Egg

Only 47 of the known 54 eggs are known to exist. 

These remaining eggs are in fact recorded lost.Each egg had a ‘surprise’ that was concealed inside.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*Jewellery– Many different types of jewellery were made, but he reintroduced colour to jewellery with precious stones & enamel.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*Flower Studies– These are amongst the most beautiful, the most delicate & the rarest of Faberge’s creations. Their leaves made of Nephrite and their flowers made of pearls tipped with rose cut Diamonds, grown on gold stems in golden moss set in a gold wickerwork basket.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*Hard Stone Carvings– He specialised in producing small hard stone models including animals, figurines, pillboxes & others.

 

 

 

Faberge jeweled rock crystal, enamel and gold antique parasol handle

 

 

*Objects of Function– Increasing from the late 1880’s and onwards the Faberge workshops produced items which also had practical use e.g., pen holders, photograph frames, table lighters, ash trays, cigarette cases & clocks.

 

 

 

 

 

Faberge World War I tobacco box
WAR 1914 – 1915

 

 


Our baby’s formal!!

23 years in Hervey Bay sees the last of our children graduate from High School!!

Erin is our 4th and youngest child & she graduated last week from Fraser Coast Anglican College. How quickly they grow from baby to grown up always astounds us.
Congratulations Erin…
[Keep safe at schoolies!!!!]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

29 years of taking children to school!! No wonder I feel tired 🙂

 

 


Forget Me Not Children’s Home

Forget Me Not Children’s Home

This is an amazing story of one young Hervey Bay man’s vision & how the power of one can grow into a strength of many, to change children’s lives in a place where there would was no help or hope for these children. Now they have love, help and hope. Please look at their website for their story… www.forgetmenot.org.au

Our story

Forget Me Not Children’s Home [FMNCH] is a home for children in Kathmandu, Nepal.We have supported FMNCH since its very first meeting in Hervey Bay in 2004/2005.

Being on board to do whatever was needed from raffle tickets to manning stalls & many barb-b-cues over the years. Stephen is part of the ‘Land & Building Committee’ and has travelled to Nepal to help choose land for their project of a self sustaining eco-village to house 60 children. This land was purchased from LOTS of fundraising! Debby was on Management for a period and was the main coordinator for most of the Charity Balls prior to 2010.

Ballroom at Kingfisher Bay Resort 2009

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jon Stevens performing 2009


 


 

 

 

 

 

We have sponsored a young girl by the name of Sneha for the last few years & have watched her grow into a beautiful young woman who is now studying to become a nurse. This is certainly something that would never have been available to her prior to FMNCH coming into her life.

Stephen & Sneha at FMNCH Nepal in 2009

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stephen with Lars Olsen [founder of FMNCH]in Kathmandu in 2009

Our daughter Amy who travelled to Kathmandu  with Deb early in 2008

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Deb travelled to Kathmandu FMNCH with Amy early in 2008

 Every year Haigh’s Jewellers have donated a major prize to be raffled off on the night of the Ball. It is always a piece of high quality jewellery and is such a joy to watch someone’s excitement at winning. We always help where we can with FMNCH, with Steve still there and Deb having a break from the workload at the moment; it will always be a charity close to our hearts & look forward to our future endeavors with them.