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The Fabergé Czar Imperial Easter Eggs - part 3

The Fabergé Czar Imperial Easter Eggs - part 3

The Fabergé Czar Imperial Easter Eggs - part 3

1907 - Rose Trellis Egg

Dimensions: height 7.7 cm (3 inches)



The egg is covered with translucent light green enamel on a guilloche background. It is covered by a trellis studded with diamonds and intertwined with pink enameled roses and emerald green leaves.

 

A portrait diamond is set at either end of this egg, the one at the base covering the date "1907". Unfortunately the monogram, that probably was under the portrait diamond at the other end, has now disappeared.

The surprise was a diamond chain with a watercolor miniature of the little Czarevich Alexei, painted on ivory. The surprise is now lost.

 

The egg was created by Fabergé's workmaster, Henrik Wigström (Russian, 1862-1923)

 

 

Czar Nicolai II of Russia presented the egg to his wife, the Empress Aleksandra Fyodorovna, on Easter April 22, 1907. This is considered the last of the opulent Easter eggs made without the constraints of a menacing outside world.

 

In 1920 the egg was in the possession of Aleksandr Polovtsov who was a former employee at Gatchina Palace and later started an antique shop in Paris. It is not known how Mr. Polovtsov acquired the egg. In 1930, the egg was sold along with the 1901 Gatchina Palace Egg to Henry Walters and became a part of the Walters Art Museum Collection in 1931. The egg resides at the Walters Art Museum, Baltimore, Maryland and has been on permanent exhibition since 1952.

 

 

1907 - Cradle with Garlands Egg

Dimensions: Height: 14,6 cm (5.7 inches)

 


This gold egg in the Louis XVI style, is enameled translucent pale blue and decorated with a band composed of painted enamel roses and translucent emerald green enameled leaves, panels of oyster enamel and bands of scrolls and acanthus in colored gold. The Egg is supported in a gold cradle by four columns with Cupid's sets of arrows studded with diamonds. The whole is supported on a carved oval alabaster base and stands on four bun feet in chased colored gold.

 

The now missing surprise was made of white enamel, ruby, pearls, rose-cut diamonds, watercolor (possibly on ivory), probably gold. According to the original invoice the surprise was a miniature of all the Imperial children.

 

Private Collection, Robert M. Lee, USA

 

 

1908 - Aleksandr  Palace Egg

Dimensions: Egg: height 11 cm (4.3 inches)

Palace: 3 x 6.5 cm (1.2 x 2.6 inches)




This egg is carved from Siberian nephrite. The surface of the egg is divided by five vertical bands studded with diamonds and connected with one another by gold garlands, inlaid with rose and ruby flowers. In the sections between the bands are five miniature watercolor portraits of Czar Nicolai II’s children. They are framed with rose-cut diamonds and each bears a diamond monogram at the top. The upper and lower sections of the egg are set with triangular diamonds bearing the initial A.F. (Aleksandra Fyodorovna) and golden leaves and flowers composed of rubies and diamonds.

 

Inside the egg, on the reverse side of each portrait, is engraved the birth date of the child represented: "Olga" - November 3, 1895; "Tatiana" - May 29, 1897; "Maria" - June 14, 1899; "Anastasia" - June 5, 1901; "Alexei" - July 30, 1904.

 

When opened, the egg reveals a tiny detailed replica of Aleksandr Palace, the Imperial family's favorite residence at Czarskoye Selo, and its adjoining gardens. Built in 1769 by Catherine the Great, the palace later became the principal residence of Czar Nicolai II and his family. It is executed in tinted gold and enamel, with windows of rock crystal; the roof is enameled in light green. The model is secured on a round pedestal with five high narrow legs, connected at the bottom. The inscription "The Palace at Czarskoye Selo", enclosed in a laurel wreath is engraved on the base.

 

Czar Nicolai II Armoury presented it as an Easter gift to his wife, Aleksandra Fyodorovna on April 26, 1908.

 

From 1908 until it was confiscated by the Provisional Government, the egg remained in the Mauve Room in the Aleksandr Palace at Czarskoye Selo.

In 1917 the egg was transferred to the Moscow Kremlin Armoury and is currently held in the Kremlin Museum.  

 

 

1908 - Peacock Egg

Dimensions: 19 cm (7.5 inches)

 


The two egg halves are made from rock crystal standing on a beautiful rococo foot. The crystal is engraved with the crowned monogram of Maria Fyodorovna and the other with the date, 1908.

 

Within the Egg, a mechanical gold enameled peacock sits in the branches of an engraved gold tree with flowers made from precious stones or enamel. The peacock can be lifted from the tree and wound up. Placed on a flat surface, it struts proudly around, moving its head and spreading its colorful enameled tail.

 

Dorofeiev, a Fabergé work master, reportedly worked on the peacock and its prototypes, for three years.

 

Czar Nicolai II of Russia, presented the egg to his mother, the Dowager Empress Maria Fyodorovna in on April 26, 1908.

 

The Peacock Egg is inspired by the 18th century Peacock clock by James Cox, a present from Grigori Alexandrovich Potemkin to Catherine the Great., It was housed first in the Winter Palace, and now the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia.

 

In 1927 the Peacock Egg was sold with nine other Imperial eggs by the Antikvariat to Emanuel Snowman of Wartski Jewelers in London. Bought by a Mr Hirst in 1935, it was sold to Dr. Maurice Sandoz of Switzerland in 1949, and donated to his Foundation Edouard et Maurice Sandoz, Lausanne, Switzerland in 1955. Since its purchase by Sandoz, it has only been seen publicly five times, the last time in 1992.

 

 

1909 - Standart Yacht Egg

Dimensions: height 15.3 cm (6 inches)

 



The transparent egg made of transparent rock crystal contains the replica of the royal yacht, the Standart. Minutely detailed, she is sailing on the oval rock crystal base, representing the sea. The crystal egg is horizontally mounted in gold and bears the inscription "Standart 1909" on the edge of the mount.

A gold band, with inlaid leaves of green enamel and small diamonds, lines the perimeter of the egg. The bottom half of the egg is decorated with a vertical gold band with inlaid designs. A crowned eagle of lapis lazuli with a pear-shaped pearl is perched on either side of the egg. The stand is decorated with two intertwined dolphins made of lapislazuli. The oval base is made of quartz crystal and white enamel inlaid with laurel garlands and bands of small diamonds with laurel branches in green enamel.

 

This egg was inspired by the 5,500 ton Standart that was commissioned by Aleksandr III in Copenhagen. It was launched in 1895; 116 meters long, it was the largest yacht in the world at that time. The Imperial couple spent many happy hours with their children on this boat.

 

 Czar Nicolai II presented the egg as an Easter gift to his wife Aleksandra Fyodorovna on April 11, 1909.

 

The egg is currently held in the Kremlin Armoury Museum in Moscow.

 

 

1909 - Aleksandr III Commemorative Egg

Dimensions: height ca 9.5 cm (3.7 inches)

 


The platinum egg is completely covered in matt white enamel with gold lines. Lozenge-shaped diamond clusters are positioned around the middle of the egg, each with diamond-set baskets, flowers and ribbons. Portrait diamonds are set at either end, no doubt covering the monogram of the Dowager Empress and the date.

 

The surprise is a miniature gold bust of Aleksandr III on a lapis lazuli pedestal and rose-cut diamonds.

 

The egg commemorates Aleksandr III of Russia, who had died fifteen years previously.

 

Czar Nicolai II presented the egg to his mother, the Dowager Empress Maria Fyodorovna on April 11, 1909.

 

The Aleksandr III Commemorative Egg is one of eight Imperial Fabergé eggs that are currently misplaced, and only one of two for which a photograph exists.

 

 

1910 - Colonnade Egg

Dimensions: height 28,6 cm (11.3 inches)

 


This is a deeply romantic piece, celebrating the birth of Alexei, the heir to the throne. Alexei is represented by a silver-gilt cupid, which surmounts the egg. Below the cupid is a broad enameled band with roman numerals, set with rose-cut diamonds. The cupid is missing an arrow which used to indicate the hour. The columns and base of the “egg” are made from beautiful pale-green bowenite. The base is decorated with four silver-gilt cherubs, representing the Czar’s daughters Olga, Tatiana, Maria, Anastasia and surrounded by floral branches in different colors of gold. Two platinum doves, symbols of the happy parents and couple, are perched within the circle of the columns.

 

Since the Colonnade Egg is a clock it didn’t contain a surprise.

 

The egg celebrates the 1904 birth of Alexei Nikolaevich, Czarevich of Russia, the only son of Czar Nicolai II of Russia. The birth of Alexei ensured that the throne would not pass to Grand Duke Michael Alexandrovich of Russia, the younger brother of Nicolai II.

 

Czar Nicolai II of Russia presented this egg to his mother, the Dowager Empress Maria Fyodorovna on April 11, 1909.

 

This is one of nine eggs sold by the Antikvariat to Emanuel Snowman of London antique dealers Wartski in 1927. Two years later, the egg was sold to Mary of Teck, and inherited by Queen Elizabeth II in 1953. It remains in the Royal Collection.

 

 

1910 - Aleksandr III Equestrian Egg

Dimensions: height 15,5 cm (6.1 inches)


 


The egg is carved from rock-quartz crystal, engraved with two tied laurel leaf sprays. The upper half of the egg is covered with platinum trelliswork and a tasseled fringe, the two consoles are shaped as double-headed eagles set with rose-cut diamonds.

A large diamond engraved with the year "1910" surmounts the egg, set in a band of small roses, with a rosette border of platinum acanthus leaves. The two platinum double-headed eagles on the sides of the egg have diamond crowns.

 

The lower part of the egg serves as a platform for a gold model of a statue of Czar Aleksandr III on horseback. The statue stands on a nephrite base that is decorated with two rose-cut diamond bands. Platinum cherubs support the base of the crystal.

 

Czar Nicolai presented the egg to his mother the Dowager Empress, Maria Fyodorovna on May 1, 1910.

 

The egg  is currently held in the Kremlin Armoury Museum in Moscow.

 

 

1911 - Fifteenth Anniversary Egg

Dimensions: height 13,2 cm (5.2)



This egg features panels of opalescent and opaque white enamel within a grid of gold and green enamel on a guilloche background. Inside the panels are eighteen scenes painted by court miniaturist Vassily Zuiev. They depict portraits of the Imperial family, the czarina, her husband, their five children, and highlights of significant occasions from their lives together, and major events of the reign. The dates of Nicolai and Aleksandra's wedding, 1894, and the fifteenth anniversary of the Coronation, 1911, are set beneath the portraits of the Czarina and the Czar respectively. Beneath a table diamond at the top of the egg is the crowned monogram of Czarina Aleksandra; the base is set with a rose-cut diamond - signed Fabergé.

 

The seven exquisite miniatures by Vasilii Zuiev show the happy united family. Few people knew about the hemophilia of the heir that would bring about the tragic consequences for the Imperial family, and the immense suffering of the parents.

 

One of the most expensive eggs (16’600 rubles) it had also enormous personal significance to the Empress.

 

Czar Nicolai II presented this egg to his wife on Easter day, April 23, 1911.

 

This egg is currently held in the Svyaz' Vremyon Fund - Viktor Vekselberg collection - Moscow.

 

 

1911 - Bay Tree or Orange Tree Egg

Dimensions: height 29,8 cm (11.7 inches)

 



The foliage of the tree, individually carved from nephrite and decorated with diamonds, flowers with diamond-set pistils, ruby and champagne diamond 'berries' and white enamel forms the egg shape. It stands in a Louis XVI style planter made from nephrite and decorated with branches of green enamel leaves and pearl. The soil is hammered from gold.

 

Turning a tiny lever disguised as a fruit, hidden among the leaves of the bay tree, activates the hinged circular top of the tree and a feathered songbird rises and flaps its wings, turns its head, opens its beak and sings.

The tree was inspired by a mechanical 18th Century Bay Tree by French jeweler and clockmaker, Richard. With this egg Fabergé is able to culminate his automaton skills.

 

Czar Nicolai II paid 12,800 rubles for the egg which he presented to his mother, the Dowager Empress Maria Fyodorovna on April 12, 1911.

 

In 1917 the egg was confiscated by the Russian Provisional Government and moved from the Anichkov Palace to the Kremlin. It was sold to Emanuel Snowman of the jewelers Wartski around 1927. Passing through different owners, it was sold to Malcolm Forbes in 1965 for $35,000. In 2004 it was sold as part of the Forbes collection to Victor Vekselberg for the amount of  $212,634.  The egg is now back in Moscow and visible in the Svyaz' Vremyon Fund - Viktor Vekselberg collection - Moscow.


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Date:  12th Apr 09

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