Fabergé eggs are absolutely vintage decor masterpieces! Their design and craftsmanship are superb, making them uber-coveted objects of art.
They’re divided into three categories: The Imperial Eggs, The Kelch Eggs and other Fabergé eggs. Imperial Eggs were manufactured under the supervision of Peter Carl Fabergé to the Russian Imperial Family; Kelch Eggs were made for Alexander Ferdinandovich Kelch, a Siberian gold mine industrialist and the other Fabergé eggs were fabricated with no apparent orders. Keep reading and discover the Imperial Eggs’ story as told by Fabergé.
IF YOU’RE A VINTAGE LOVER DON’T MISS: Trends That Should Have Never Gone Out of Style
“The story began in 1885, when Emperor Alexander III decided to give a gold Easter egg to his wife the Empress Marie Fedorovna, possibly to celebrate the 20th anniversary of their betrothal. (…) The Emperor gave detailed instructions regarding the design of the egg, making further suggestions to Fabergé as the project progressed. Easter was the most important occasion of the year in the Russian Orthodox Church, equivalent to Christmas in the West. A centuries-old tradition of bringing hand-coloured eggs to Church to be blessed and then presented to friends and family had evolved through the years and, among the highest echelons of St Petersburg society, the custom developed of presenting valuable bejewelled Easter gifts. So it was that Emperor Alexander III had the idea of commissioning Fabergé to create a precious Easter egg as a surprise for his Empress. The first Imperial Easter egg was born.”
“Known as the Hen Egg, it is crafted from gold. Its opaque white enamelled ‘shell’ opens to reveal its first surprise, a matte yellow gold yolk. This, in turn, opens to reveal a multi-coloured, superbly chased gold hen that also opens. Originally, this contained a minute diamond replica of the Imperial Crown from which a small ruby pendant egg was suspended. Unfortunately, these last two surprises have been lost.
The Empress’s delight at this intriguing gift with its hidden jewelled surprises was the starting point for the yearly Imperial tradition that continued for 32 years until 1917 and produced the most opulent and captivating Easter gifts the world has ever seen. The eggs were private and personal gifts.”
“Each egg, an artistic tour de force, took a year or more to make, involving a team of highly skilled craftsmen, who worked in the greatest secrecy. From 1887 Fabergé was given complete freedom in the design and execution, with the only prerequisite being that the eggs had to have surprises within each creation. Dreaming up each complex concept, Fabergé often drew on family ties, events in Imperial Court life, or the milestones and achievements of the Romanov dynasty, as in the Fifteenth Anniversary Egg of 1911, commemorating the fifteenth anniversary of Nicholas II’s accession to the throne, or the Romanov Tercentenary Egg of 1913 that celebrated 300 years of the House of Romanov.”
“Alexander III presented an egg each year to his wife the Empress Marie Fedorovna and the tradition was continued, from 1895, by his son Nicholas II who presented an egg annually to both his wife the Empress Alexandra Fedorovna and to his mother the Dowager Empress Marie Fedorovna. However, there were no presentations during 1904 and 1905 because of political unrest and the Russo-Japanese War.”
IN THE MOOD FOR EASTER: Easter Celebration: Lovely Ideas for Your Vintage Home Decor
“One of the most expensive was the 1913 Winter Egg, which was invoiced at 24 600 roubles (then £2 460). Prior to the Great War, a room at Claridges was 10 shillings (50 pence) a night compared to approximately £480 today. Using this yardstick, the egg would have cost £2.36 million in today’s money.
The Winter Egg, designed by Alma Pihl, famed for her series of diamond snowflakes, is made of carved rock crystal as thin as glass. This is embellished with engraving and ornamented with platinum and diamonds, to resemble frost. The egg rests on a rock-crystal base designed as a block of melting ice. (…) It is set with 3 246 diamonds. The egg sold at Christie’s in New York in 2002 for US$9,6 million.
Of the 50 eggs made by Fabergé and delivered to the Imperial family from 1885 to 1916, 43 have survived.”
Nowadays, the eggs are spread all over the world, being owned by institutions like the Kremlin Armoury or the Royal Collection in London, museums like the Walters Art Museum and private collectors, with Victor Vekselberg being the single largest owner of Fabergé eggs in the world, owning fifteen of them (nine Imperial, two Kelch, and four other Fabergé eggs).
“Paying homage to the forthcoming centenary of the last Fabergé Imperial Eggs ever delivered, Fabergé has crafted an extraordinary one-of-a-kind egg in collaboration with the Al-Fardan family, one of the world’s most renowned collectors of pearls.”
“The Fabergé Pearl Egg is the first egg created in the ‘Imperial Class’ since 1917 while the Fabergé name and the Fabergé family have been united.”
“The Fabergé Pearl Egg draws inspiration from the formation of a pearl within an oyster and the egg’s painstakingly-crafted mother-of-pearl exterior opens to reveal a unique grey pearl of 12.17 carats, sourced from the Arabian Gulf and exhibiting exceptional purity and a highly unusual shade of grey.”
All content from Fabergé
We hope you enjoyed reading this lovely story and you found yourself inspired for the Easter season! Of course owning one of these eggs is most probably impossible, but you can always look for reliable replicas online and still feel some of the magic these eggs emanate.
Feel free to pin all the images to your favourite Pinterest boards or to print them to fill your mood board. Do not forget that you can also visit our Pinterest Boards and find out the most outstanding vintage inspirations concerning the interior design, arts and lifestyle.