Friday, January 20, 2012

Friday Fabergé

The next Imperial Easter Egg in line - the "Mauve Egg" - is yet again one of the lost ones. But it is described as a mauve enamel egg with three miniatures, and was given by Tsar Nicholas II to the Dowager Empress Maria Feodorovna in 1897.

It's surprise, which still exists though, is a heart shaped photo frame, made of strawberry red, green and white enamel, rose-cut diamonds, pearls, and watercolor on ivy.

It opened as a three-leafed clover with each leaf containing the pictures of Nicholas II, his wife Empress Alexandra Feodorovna, and their first child, Grand Duchess Olga Nikolaevna.

The seventeenth egg still exists though, and I think this might actually be my favorite, just because I love lilies-of-the-valley so much. The name of this egg is - as it should be - the "Lilies of the Valley Egg"!

This Art Nouveau egg is made of pink enamel covered gold, with gold-stemmed pearl lilies-of-the-valleys, set with diamonds and rubies, and surrounded by green enamel leaves. It is supported on four dull green gold cabriole legs, composed by overlapping leaves veined with rose-cut diamonds. On top of the egg sits an Imperial Crown, covered in rose-cut diamonds and a cabochon ruby.

When lightly depressed the crown generates a mechanical device inside the egg, that raise the surprise out of the top. This surprise is a fan of three tiny miniatures painted by Johannes Zehngraf. The miniatures depict the Tsar Nicholas II, and his first two daughters, Grand Duchesses Olga and Tatiana. These are framed by rose-cut diamonds and backed with gold panels, engraved with the presentation date - April 5, 1898. A turn in the opposite direction automatically folds and returns the miniatures back into the egg.

Fabergé tried to learn something about the private lives of his most important clients, so he knew the Empress' favorite color was pink, pearls were her favorite gems, and her favorite flower was the liliy-of-the-valley, so this egg must have fitted her mind perfectly! Every spring, Alexandra would fill the palaces with bouquets of these lovely flowers. Walking through those rooms must have scented amazing...

The "Lilies of the Valley Egg" now exists in the collection of Viktor Vekselberg.


  1. Yes, these two are my favourites, most definitely!! They are stunning and I like how they have compartments to them. Such intricate details..would love to have one each, but now I am dreaming. Even replica ones would be nice. I do love these friday posts, always enjoy learning about the eggs :)) Happy Friday darling girl xx

  2. These are absolutely amazing, I love the first photo with the heart, they're beautiful Miss Meadows.

  3. This must be my favorite egg so far! Pretty!


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