Russian Imperial Easter Eggs Collection, Faberge Museum in St. Petersburg

The central hall of the Shuvalov Palace contains the Imperial Easter Eggs and surprises made for the last of the Romanovs – the Emperors Alexander III and Nicholas II. These remarkable works each tell their own unique story and made Fabergé a world-renowned brand.

Easter Eggs by Carl Faberge
Faberge eggs – a series of jewelry firm of Carl Faberge. The series was created between 1885 and 1917. for the Russian imperial family and private buyers. In total, 71 copies are known to be created, of which 54 are imperial.

The phrase “Faberge Eggs” has become synonymous with luxury and emblem of the wealth of the imperial house and pre-revolutionary Russia. And also the name of the type of jewelry in the form of eggs with surprises and one of the symbols of Russia.

Imperial Easter Egg “Chicken”
The first of the imperial eggs, the Chicken, was made in 1885. The egg was ordered by Emperor Alexander III as an Easter present for his wife – Empress Maria Fedorovna, as a girl of the Danish princess Dagmara. Alexander III turned to Carl Gustav Faberge not by chance: in 1882, the emperor was impressed by the jewelry genius that he saw at the All-Russian Art and Industry Exhibition. In the process of creating the eggs, “Kurochka” Faberge was guided by similar European jewelry. In particular, in the 1720s in Paris, an unknown craftsman made three similar Easter eggs. This egg is currently in the collection of the Museum of the History of Art in Vienna, a golden egg with an enamel yolk (until 1924 was in the Dresden State Assembly) and the egg of the Duchess Wilhelmina (now stored in the Rosenborg Castle). With a high degree of probability it can be argued that it is the egg of the Duchess Wilhelmina, seen by Alexander III and Maria Fedorovna at an art and industrial exhibition in Copenhagen in 1879, and was chosen by the August customer as a role model. Carl Gustav Faberge, in fact, created his own version of the egg of the Duchess Wilhelmina: an opaque opaque enamel imitates the shell, and the yolk is made of matte gold. In the yolk is a hen of multi-colored “mosaic gold”, inside of which there is a miniature imperial crown in the form of a ruby pendant egg. The order was supervised by Grand Duke Vladimir Alexandrovich, who was the brother of the emperor. It was he who supplied the finished egg with instructions for the future owner. True, Alexander III was worried whether his wife would like the present. But she liked her so much that in the same year, Carl Gustav Faberge received the title of Court Supplier,

Imperial Easter Egg Box Renaissance
The Renaissance egg was made in 1894 and is the last Easter present of Alexander III to his wife, since the emperor passed away in the same year. In the process of creating the Renaissance egg, the master of Faberge, Mikhail Perkhin, who worked on it, was guided by the 18th-century box from the collections of the Treasury Museum in Dresden, made by the Dutch master Le Roy. However, Faberge turned the oval casket into a horizontally placed Easter egg carved from agate. Its frame is made of gold, partially coated with polychrome enamel. The frame is decorated with lion mascarons, as well as interspersed with diamonds and rubies. The date of creation of the egg is laid on the upper half of the egg with diamonds of the “rose” cut.

Imperial Easter Egg “Rosebud”
The tradition of presenting eggs made by Faberge as a gift for Easter to his wife after the death of Alexander III was continued by his son, Emperor Nicholas II. The Rose Bud egg was a gift from Nicholas II to Empress Alexandra Fyodorovna, nee Princess Alice of Hesse-Darmstadt, on Easter 1895. This is the first egg made by Faberge by order of Nicholas II. Many researchers perceive the “Rosebud” as a kind of recognition of Nicholas II in love for Alexander Fedorovna. An egg made in neoclassical style is covered with transparent bright red (“strawberry”) enamel on guillochebackground and decorated with symbols of fidelity and love: wreaths of gold, leafy garlands and diamond arrows. At the top of the egg, under a large flat diamond, is a miniature portrait of Nicholas II painted in watercolor on an ivory plate. And under the diamond of the same size located below, the date of manufacture of the gift is placed. The egg has a surprise – the name given to it is a tea rose bud on a small stalk with a small button, when pressed, the rose petals open.

Imperial Easter Egg Coronation
Coronation Egg, which is a symbol of the “Connection of Times” foundation, is one of the most famous creations of Faberge firm. The egg, dedicated to the celebrations on the occasion of the coronation of Nicholas II and Alexandra Fedorovna, was donated by the empress to the Empress for Easter in 1897. The surprise of the egg is unique – an exact copy of the coronation carriage created under Catherine II. The carriage model was assembled by Faberge’s young master, G. Stein, who recreated the original design in great detail. The model turned out to be so accurate that the specialists of the State Hermitage engaged in the restoration of the coronation carriage focused on its miniature copy contained in the Coronation egg. The carriage model is crowned with golden double-headed eagles in the corners and a miniature diamond crown. The egg consists of two hinged parts. The eggshell is covered with transparent yellow enamel, superimposed on a guilloche background of carved rays, and false enamel eagles connected by branches of gold. Like the Rose Bud egg, the Coronation egg is decorated with two diamonds from above and below. On the upper part there is a diamond with the monogram of the Empress, and the date “1897” is read through the diamond on the lower part.

List of Imperial Easter eggs

First Hen egg
Renaissance egg
Rosebud egg
Coronation egg
Lilies of the Valley egg
Cockerel egg
Fifteenth Anniversary egg
Bay Tree egg
Order of St. George egg

Faberge Museum in St. Petersburg
The Faberge Museum is a private museum in St. Petersburg, located in the Naryshkin-Shuvalov Palace. It has an unparalleled collection of Russian jewelry and arts and crafts of the 19th – 20th centuries. The most valuable and famous objects in the museum’s collection are 9 imperial Easter eggs created by the company of Carl Gustav Faberge. The museum’s collection, including the first and last of the imperial eggs.

Currently, the museum’s collection has more than 4,000 items, among which, in addition to the famous Easter eggs, are fantasy items, silverware, interior and religious items, as well as jewelry created by Faberge. Also in the museum’s collection are works by contemporaries and rivals of Faberge — masters of jewelry I. Sazikov, P. Ovchinnikov, F. Rückert, I. Khlebnikov and many others. The exhibition hall of the museum presents paintings by I. Aivazovsky, K. Makovsky, K. Bryullov, V. Ammon, V. Polenov, G. Semiradsky and female portraits of A. Kharlamov. In the Upper Buffet Palace of the Naryshkin-Shuvalovs, the works of P.O. Renoir, Louis Walt, Henri Martin, K. Korovin and K. Gorbatov are posted. A collection of Russian icons is exhibited in the Gothic hall of the palace. The Faberge Museum in St. Petersburg is rightfully proud ofCarl Gustav Faberge in the period from 1885 to 1916.

The official opening ceremony of the first privately owned Fabergé Museum in Russia took place on November 19, 2013, in the Shuvalov Palace in St. Petersburg. The founding organization of the museum is the Link of Times cultural and historical foundation, which was established in 2004 with the aim of repatriating items of cultural significance to Russia.

The idea of creating a series of museums in Russia dedicated to the works of the great jeweler Carl Fabergé first came to the Link of Times in 2004. In that year, The Link of Times Foundation purchased a one-of-a-kind collection of Fabergé works which had been collected by Malcolm Forbes. Since then, the foundation has been collecting Russian works of decorative and fine art and has amassed more than 4,000 items today. In terms of its size, diversity, and the quality of its pieces, many of which belonged to the royal family and other members of the royal courts of Europe, the collection is without a doubt one of the best in the world.

The most valuable items in the Museum’s collection are the nine Imperial Easter Eggs created by Fabergé for the last two Russian emperors. Each of them is a masterpiece of jewelry and art, as well as a unique historical monument to the reign and personal life of Alexander III and Nicholas II.

The exclusivity of the Fabergé collection acquired by the Link of Times foundation also comes from the fact that this collection represents all of the areas the House of Faberge specialized in: objects of fantasy of all kinds, jewelry, small goods, silverware, and interior and religious objects. In addition to works by Fabergé, the collection also includes works by his contemporaries, including famous Russian jewelers and silversmiths such as Sazikov, Ovchinnikov, Khlebnikov, Rückert and many others.