Knockoff Fabergé eggs can be easily found. However, genuine Fabergé eggs are one-of-a-kind. Created by the House of Fabergé between 1885 and 1917, Fabergé eggs are a Russian novelty. They represent tradition, beauty, excellence, and an imperial family the world will never forget. They also house captivating surprises.
History of the Imperial Fabergé Egg
On Easter in 1885, Czar Alexander III commissioned an incredibly unique gift for his wife, Empress Maria Feodorovna: an ornate egg. This delicately crafted egg was the first Fabergé egg ever to be created by goldsmith and jeweler Peter Carl Fabergé. Where Are the Romanovs’ Missing Fabergé Easter Eggs stated,
“When Czarina Maria Feodorovna opened the plain white enameled egg on that early Easter day, she was met with a series of delightful surprises. First, she found a round yolk made entirely of gold. That opened to reveal a beautiful gold hen with ruby red eyes. The midsection of the hen swung up, and inside was a small, diamond-encrusted replica of a royal crown and a tiny, delicate ruby egg.”
Impressed with the exquisite egg, the Czar and Czarina decided to commission more “imperial” Fabergé eggs, beginning a 32-year tradition. Over those 32 years, 50 eggs were commissioned by the imperial family. Sadly, only 43 of these eggs remain.
Fabergé Eggs and Their Surprises
All Fabergé eggs included a surprise element. Wikipedia stated, “According to Fabergé family lore, not even the Tsar knew what form (the commissioned eggs) would take—the only requirements were that each contain a surprise, and that each be unique.” A few examples of imperial eggs and their surprises include:
- “Danish Palaces“ — Created in 1890, “Danish Palaces” features a pink-mauve enameled gold exterior split into twelve sections. It is inlaid with many jewels. The surprise inside the egg is a 10-panel screen crafted with multi-colored gold and watercolors on mother-of-pearl. “The paintings depict, from left to right along the screen, the imperial yacht Polar Star; Bernstorff Palace, Copenhagen; The emperor’s villa in Fredensborg park , near Fredensborg Castle; Amalienborg Palace, Copenhagen; Kronborg Castle, Helsingør; the Cottage Palace, Peterhof; Gatchina Palace near St. Petersburg and the imperial yacht Tsarevna.”
- “Imperial Coronation“ — “Imperial Coronation” was crafted in 1897 under the supervision of Fabergé by Mikhail Perkhin and Henrik Wigstrom. “The egg is made from gold with translucent lime yellow enamel on a guilloché field of starbursts and is in reference to the cloth-of-gold robe worn by the Tsarina at her Coronation.” The surprise inside the egg is a miniature, precise replica “of the 18th-century Imperial coach that carried the Tsarina Alexandra to her coronation at Moscow’s Uspensky Cathedral.”
- “Hen with Sapphire Pendant“ — One of the seven lost Fabergé eggs, this piece of art depicted “a hen of gold and rose diamonds taking a sapphire egg out of a nest. The hen and the basket were both made of gold studded with hundreds of rose-cut diamonds.” The surprise inside this egg was undocumented and is therefore unknown today.
Discover every imperial Fabergé egg and its surprise here, then share your favorite in the “comments” section below.
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