Special Exhibits - Theo Fabergé collection
Theo Fabergé Collection

Theo Fabergé was born in 1922, the grandson of Peter Carl Fabergé, the Russian Jeweller. An engineer, fine instrument maker, designer, inventor and general “ideas man”, he loved nature.

At school, he excelled at Design Technology, for example while making a model galleon he manufactured a lathe in order to turn the barrels of the ship's cannons and this approach set the tone for his life.

Inspiration

It was in his fifties that his interest and passion for woodturning were seriously ignited by his mentor and friend, virtuoso turner Fred Howe. Under Fred's guidance, together with that of his other good friend and turner, Bill Thurlow, Theo's talent in the field blossomed and he went on to become an active member of The Society of Ornamental Turners, of which Fred was a founder member.

One of his early works was a Chinese Ball comprising four concentric spheres within each other made from a resin with the consistency of ivory. Theo then managed to acquire an 1861 Holtzapffel lathe, albeit in a sorry state of repair, which he spent the next two years lovingly restoring.

Competitions and Awards

In 1975 he entered a competition held by The Worshipful Company of Turners, submitting a matching pair of egg shaped salt and pepper mills worked in red cam wood. Three years later he was awarded the Worshipful Company of Turners Lady Gertrude Crawford medal for a Jubilee box turned in 1977. Embellished with rubies and silver he created this piece in honour of Her Majesty the Queen's Silver Jubilee.

In subsequent years Theo went on to receive prizes from the Society of Ornamental Turners.

Special Recognition by the Turners' Company

Considered “a natural”, Theo was, granted what he considered to be the ultimate honour for a Turner, he was elected Freeman Prizeman of The Worshipful Company of Turners just seven years after being introduced to ornamental turning.

His passion for the art and craft of turning, predominantly in wood, never waned and like many turners before him he was keen to pass on his knowledge to others.

Theo's proudest moment came at his 80th birthday celebrations when the Worshipful Company of Turners awarded him with the gift of Honorary Liveryman “in honour of the great work you have done to promote the Craft of Turning in this country and world wide”.

Despite his failing health he maintained a keen interest in the world of turning. He passed away in August 2007.