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A Fabergé egg is any one of the thousands of jeweled eggs made by the House of Fabergé from 1885 through 1917. The majority of these were miniature ones that were popular gifts at Eastertide. They would be worn on a neck chain either singly or in groups. However, the most famous eggs produced by the House were the larger ones made for Alexander III and Nicholas II of Russia. Of the 50 made, 42 have survived. A further two eggs were planned but not delivered, the Constellation and Karelian Birch eggs for 1918.

Seven large eggs were made for the Kelch family of Moscow.

The eggs are made of precious metals or hard stones decorated with combinations of enamel and gem stones. The term "Fabergé egg" has become a synonym of luxury and the eggs are regarded as masterpieces of the jeweller's art. The Fabergé Imperial Easter Eggs are regarded as the last great series of commissions for objets d'art.

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HistoryEdit

The story began when Tsar Alexander III decided to give his wife the Empress Maria Fedorovna an Easter Egg in 1885, possibly to celebrate the 20th anniversary of their betrothal. It is believed that the Tsar’s inspiration for the piece was an egg owned by the Empress’s aunt, Princess Wilhelmine Marie of Denmark, which had captivated Maria’s imagination in her childhood. 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 gold hen, that also opens. It contains a minute diamond replica of the Imperial Crown from which a small ruby pendant was suspended. Unfortunately, these last two surprises have been lost.

Empress Maria was so delighted by this gift that Alexander appointed Fabergé a ‘goldsmith by special appointment to the Imperial Crown’. He commissioned another egg the following year. However, after that, Peter Carl Fabergé, who headed the House, was apparently given complete freedom for future Imperial Easter Eggs, as from this date their designs become more elaborate. According to the Fabergé family tradition, not even the Tsar knew what form they would take: the only stipulation was that each one should contain a surprise. Following the death of Alexander III on November 1st 1894, his son presented a Fabergé egg to both his wife, the Empress Alexandra Fedorovna, and to his mother, the Dowager Empress Maria Fedorovna.

No eggs were made for 1904 and 1905 because of the Russo-Japanese War. Once an initial design had been approved by Peter Carl Fabergé, the work was carried out by an entire team of craftsmen, among them Michael Perkhin, Henrik Wigström and Erik August Kollin.

The Imperial eggs enjoyed great fame, and Fabergé made some other large eggs for just a few select private clients, such as the Duchess of Marlborough, the Nobel familys, the Rothschilds and the Yusupovs. Among them is a series of seven eggs made for the industrialist Alexander Kelch.

Below is a short summary of the history of the 7 Fabergé egg that appear in the Fabergé Egg Collection.

Fabergé Egg CollectionEdit

Diamond TrellisEdit

Standard 75x75 collect egg pearl
The Diamond Trellis Egg is a jewelled enameled Easter egg made by A. Holmstein under the supervision of the Russian jeweller Peter Carl Fabergé in 1892.The egg was made for Alexander III of Russia, who presented it to his wife, the Empress Maria Feodorovna. Currently the egg is held in a private collection in London, England.
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JadeEdit

Standard 75x75 collect egg jade
Unknown History

MilitaryEdit

Standard 75x75 collect egg miltary
The Steel Military Egg is one of a series of fifty-two Russian jewelled Easter eggs made by Alma Pihl under the supervision of the Russian jeweller Peter Carl Fabergé in 1916, for the last Tsar of Russia, Nicholas II. Tsar Nicholas presented the egg as an Easter gift to his wife, the Tsaritsa Alexandra Fyodorovna. The egg is one of the ten Imperial eggs that were never sold, and now is found in the Kremlin armoury.
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PansyEdit

Standard 75x75 collect egg pansy
Made in 1899.

RainbowEdit

Standard 75x75 collect egg rainbow
Unknown History

WinterEdit

Standard 75x75 collect egg winter
The 1913 Winter egg is one of a series of fifty-two Russian jeweled Easter eggs and was designed by Alma Pihl, the designer who worked for Russian jeweler Peter Carl Fabergé in 1913 for Tsar Nicholas II as an Easter gift for the Tzar's mother, Tsaritsa Maria Fyodorovna. The egg sold for US$9.6 million in 2002.
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Peter the GreatEdit

Standard 75x75 collect egg alexander
180px-Peterthegreategg
The Peter the Great Egg is a jewelled Easter egg made under the supervision of the Russian jeweler Peter Carl Fabergé in 1903, for the last Tsar of Russia, Nicholas II. Tsar Nicholas presented the egg to his wife, the Czarina Alexandra Fyodorovna. The egg is currently located at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond, Virginia, in the United States.
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List of Fabergé Tsar Imperial Easter eggsEdit

List of Fabergé Kelch eggsEdit

Other Fabergé eggsEdit

† Indicates missing egg

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