Friday, 5 December 2014

Fabergé eggs

Lily of the Valley egg 1898
Easter is the most important festival of the Orthodox Church. In Russia people give each other eggs, as a symbol of fertility and new life and therefore as a symbol of the Resurrection of Jesus.

In 1885 tsar Alexander III began the custom of giving his wife eastereggs, made by the jeweler Fabergé.

Peter Carl Fabergé was the son of a French father and a Danish mother. His father already worked as a goldsmith in St. Petersburg and after he received his education with different jewelers in Europe, Peter Carl joined his father’s business.

He caught the attention of the tsar during a large exhibition of Russian art and artisans in 1882. The work Peter Carl and his brother made was praised in the press and tsar Alexander III was also impressed.

Three years later the tsar ordered the first easter egg from the Fabergés, for his wife Maria Fjodorovna. This tradition was kept after his death by his son, Nicolas II, who ordered two eggs every year; one for his wife and one for his mother.

1913: 300 year Romanov-dynasty
The eggs are all made from precious metals and decorated with gems and jewels. Inside each egg there is also a beautiful little surprise that makes it extra special.

When the Russian Revolution broke out, Peter Carl fled abroad where he died some years later in Lausanne. His sons and grandsons tried to keep the House of Fabergé working, but this was not successful. In the end it became part of another jewelers firm.

Peter Carl’s grandson Theo was successful with his daughter Sarah in designing new eggs, the so called Sint Petersburg collection.

1901: Gatchina palace egg
I do not like all Fabergé eggs, but in each egg I do admire the craftsmanship. For me the eggs are part of the Russian tradition and the Russian Imperial Family. I always longed to have one of my own, but the real ones (the ones found back after the Revolution) are of course completely priceless. Most of them are in the hands of collectors or museums.

My own little 'Fabergé' egg
I was really happy when I found an alternative that is not priceless. In museum The Hermitage in Amsterdam, I found this egg; beautiful dark red, elegantly decorated. It is not Fabergé of course, but I really like it. I had some extra money and decided to buy this egg for myself. I have put it in my ‘Russian bookcase’ and it makes me happy every time I see it.
It stands in my 'Russian bookcase', among my Russian icons.
If you want to read more about the Eggs made by Fabergé, I can recommend this book: Fabergé's eggs by Tony Faber.

2 comments:

  1. I've always been fascinated by these eggs; they're so beautiful and intricate and amazing. Your post is great! I am definitely reading this book. Thanks. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. These little eggs have so much history, they are indeed very fascinating! I am glad you liked the post!

      Kind regards,

      Delete

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