Stephan Wakeva was born in Finland in 1833. He went to St. Petersburg at the age of ten and was apprenticed as a silversmith. In 1856 he qualified as a master and founded his own workshop specialised in tableware, tea sets, tankards and samovars. Wakeva supplied the firm of Gustav Fabergé with silverware and from the late 1870s he had a contract with the company to work exclusively for it.
Stephen had four children: two of them, Alexander and Konstantin, were trained in the family workshop and when their father died in 1910 they took over the business using their own mark. When Konstantin died prematurely in 1902, his wife Jenny was given the right of a mark on her own, known as ‘the widow’s mark’: she was allowed to mark part of the workshop’s production with it, although she wasn’t trained in the craft.
The company kept producing silverware and tableware for Fabergé until 1917, when the outbreak of the Russian Revolution forced the business closure.