Fabergé Eggs: A Brief History

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

I've admired Fabergé eggs for a long while now, but since I've read A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray, I've been obsessed. They were only briefly mentioned in the story, in the dimension set Russia (one of many sets in other places), where Marguerite Caine- the main character- is the Grand Duchess Margarita and has a room in her palace called the Easter room. This Easter room contains Fabergé eggs of all different shapes and sizes, but Margarita's favorite is a wine red one, decorated with delicate gold swirls that holds a photo of her mother (who's dead in that dimension) not entirely different than the one in the above (or so I'm guessing).

The very first Fabergé created by the namesake himself.
Fabergé eggs also known as Imperial eggs are a series of Easter eggs created by Russian artist/jeweler Peter Carl Fabergé for Czar Alexander III in 1885 who wanted to give his wife the Czarina Maria Feodorovna something special for Easter. The Czar commissioned Fabergé to create something new and unique, knowing that he was- quite possibly- the best in his profession.

The image to the right is that of the very first Imperial egg the Czar had Fabergé make for his wife. The fact that its outer-surface is plain and white is interesting. It was unintended symbolism for the creativity to come in the following years.

Peter Carl Fabergé was an artist and jeweler who took over his father's atelier in Saint Petersburg after his passing in 1872 and turned it into a whole new venture over the next forty years. Initially, he and his five hundred and something employees repaired and restored jewelry and other crafts, but after being asked by Czar to create an Easter egg unlike anything the world had ever seen, he did just that and continued to create more. In 1885, the year he created the first Fabergé egg for the Czarina, his enterprise was awarded the title of "Goldsmith by special appointment of the Imperial Crown".

Now, if you think this is creativity, just look at the eggs that had been made since then. The leap is astonishing. Here are some of my favorites:

I searched to see if some of the surviving eggs are o display in the United States, and as it turns out, they are! To my sheer luck, four of them are conveniently on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York! Apparently, a woman named  Matilda Geddings Gray, a Louisiana heiress and philanthropist acquired some of Fabergé's eggs and owned the largest collection in the United States. She passed away in 1971, but her eggs are on display in museums all over the country. I plan on going to the Met soon to see them and a few other things. They're in the Met Fifth Avenue until November 27. Just FYI. I'll probably write a post on my visit. Just the prospect is exciting to me.
Last one, I swear. If only they were on sale. Or rather, if only for sale at a reasonably attainable price. I saw one that was listed for $79,000 on eBay. I wouldn't even spend that kind of money on a car. But, Fabergé eggs are much more valuable than cars, to me at least. Even then, they're very rare. Only the elite of the elites own small collections, if any at all.


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  2. I really want at least one Fabergé egg. But they're really expensive 😔