Friday, November 04, 2011

Fabergé Friday

When I studied art history at the University of Stockholm, I wrote my C-essay (for a BA) about Carl Fabergé's Imperial easter eggs. The more I read about this man and his company, the more treasures I found. From the middle of the 19th century, to the beginning of the 20th century his jewelry makers created things other people in the same business were incapable of. Eventually Fabergé became jeweler to the Tsar himself!

Peter Carl Fabergé
It was tradition to give each other decorated eggs for Easter in Russia, and in 1885 Tsar Alexander III wanted to give his wife, Maria Feodorovna, a special egg, since they celebrated their 20th engagement aniversary at Easter that year. Maria had a certain affection for Fabergé's jewelry, so Alexander decided to give him the job to create this egg. The tradition of the Imperial easter eggs by Fabergé had begun...

Tsar Alexander III

Maria Feodorovna with her son, future Nicholas II
The Tsar gave Fabergé free hands when it came to the design of the eggs. The only rule was that each egg had to be unique, and contain a little surprise! With this in mind Carl used the Tsar family itself as inspiration for each egg - starting with the "Hen Egg" in 1885.

This is the "simplest" of all the Imperial eggs. On the outside it looks like a normal, white egg. But when you open it, you realize the whole inside has been gilded. The surprise inside this egg is a little hen à quatre couleurs (gold in four different shades) - inside which was a tiny copy of the imperial crown - inside which was a ruby pendant. The crown and the pendant has been lost though...

Next Friday - next egg!


  1. Happy Fabergé Friday Miss Meadows. The eggs are incredibly beautiful, I have to admit that!

  2. Very interesting topic. I´m looking forward to next friday´s egg :). The first egg looks like a modern Apple product, the iEgg so to say.

  3. Yeamie: I think we should make Fabergé Fridays an international holiday! ;)
    Katrin: Fabergé created the first product for Apple - he just didn't know about it ;) The rest of the eggs are a "bit" more elaborate... :)


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