This egg is shaped like a bay - or orange - tree, which foliage is made of finely engraved nephrite leaves. Among these leaves sits white enamel flowers with diamond pistils, and citrine, amethyst, ruby and champagne diamond berries.
The tree grows out of a quartz tub, decorated with a gold trelliswork, green laurel swags suspended from rubies, and filled with hammered gold soil. The tub itself stands on a nephrite base with four nephrite posts, connected by swags of green enamel leaves and pearls.
The surprise is yet again one of Fabergé's amazing automatons! If the correct "berry" on the tree is turned, a portion of the foliage on the top opens up, and a little nightingale - covered in real feathers - emerges singing while moving its head, wings and beak.
Inside the egg a little bellows produces the birdsong, as the whole tree revolves on its trunk. When the song ends, the bird automatically returns down into its nest.
The "Bay Tree Egg" was based on a mechanical, 18th century bay tree by the French jeweler and clockmaker Richard. This egg can now be seen in the Vekselberg collection, after Viktor Vekselberg bought it in 2004, as one of nine Imperial Easter Eggs, for which he payed almost 100 million dollars...