Agathon Fabergé, a member of the world famous family of goldsmiths and an expert on antiquities, was also an eminent philatelist. He is remembered chiefly from his extensive collections of Finnish and Russian stamps. In a trademark style, he annotated in pencil many of the stamps and other philatelic items that he acquired. Typically the annotations contain the details of the price he paid, the date of acquisition and the vendor or donor.
When Kaj Hellman and Jeffrey Stone, two experts on Agathon Fabergé, wrote his philatelic biography (Agathon Fabergé: Portrait of a Philatelist, 2017) they compiled a database of stamps and covers from the former Fabergé collections and his annotations. The details came mainly from contemporary collectors, but also from museums and auction houses.
The Postal Museum in collaboration with Jeffrey Stone now publishes this database in online form. The database offers insight not only into Fabergé’s collecting, but also into the provenance of individual items in his collection. For a more thorough analysis of the database and what it can reveal of Fabergé’s collecting, reference to the aforementioned biography is highly recommended.
The Agathon Fabergé Database contains at the moment information on 3.410 ex-Fabergé items, acquired by Fabergé between 1898 and 1951. The database highlights especially Finland (2.144 objects), Russian Zemstvo stamps (656) and imperial Russia (423). The content of the database is in part a reflection of the collections of the informants who happened to contribute to it. Some aspects of Fabergé’s wide philatelic interests are therefore under-represented.