Friday, January 27, 2012

Fabergé Friday

Imperial Egg number eighteen: The "Dowager Egg", or "Imperial Pelican Egg"!

This is one of the few eggs that isn't covered in enamel. Instead it is made of red gold, engraved with motifs of the Arts and Sciences, and the inscription "Visit our vineyards, O Lord, and we shall dwell in thee". On top of the egg sits a pelican in opalescent grey, blue and pink enamel and diamonds. As a symbol of maternal care, the pelican is feeding her young in the nest. The egg is then supported by a four-legged stand of varicolored gold.

This egg was made for the centennial celebration of the patronage of charitable institutions by the Dowager Empress of Russia, and this can be seen when the surprise unfurls. When taken off it's stand the whole egg opens up and unfolds into eight oval panels, each rimmed in pearls. 

On the panels are tiny miniatures, painted by Johannes Zehngraf. All these paintings depict the institutions of which the Dowager Empress was patroness, founded principally for the education of young girls. On the back of the miniatures the names of the institutions have been engraved. 

This egg can now be seen as part of the Virginia Museum of Fine Art's European Decorative Arts collection.


  1. This is so beautiful Miss Meadows. I wish so much I had the money to buy one of these, do you think you could maybe loan me some money, haha! Maybe I could start a donation drive on my Blog page for the "Help Matthew Buy A Majestic, Priceless Egg fund!"

  2. I don't think I entered the captcha for this right but I just said it's an awesome egg and I really wish I could afford one of these! Maybe I could start a donation drive or something haha!

  3. So beautiful, love the workmanship!
    Happy weekend to you!
    xo Mary Jo


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