The Origin of the Faberge egg
Fabergé eggs are jewelled eggs created by Peter Carl Fabergé from 1885 to 1917. The eggs were created for Tsar Alexander III and Nicholas II, being special Easter gifts for their wives and mothers. These Fabergé eggs were also called Imperial Fabergé eggs. A total of around 50 eggs were made and 42 are still in existence today.
The very first Fabergé egg was made for Tsar Alexander III during 1885 as an Easter gift to his wife, Maria Fedorovna. This egg became widely known as the Hen Egg and was crafted from gold, with an enameled shell and a golden yolk.
Maria was in awe of the Fabergé egg and Alexander promptly appointed Mr Fabergé as the Imperial Jeller, at the same time commissioning another egg for the following year. The Tsar requested that each egg contain a surprise and Mr Faberge could use his own discretion, ideas and types of materials. Peter Carl Fabergé employed a team of skilled craftsmen and they started work on new Fabergé eggs.
These Easter eggs became a tradition and more Fabergé eggs were commissioned for the Duchess of Marlborough, Alexander Kelch, the Yusupov family and the Rothschild family.
The most expensive Fabergé egg was the Winter egg (1913) and was valued at 24 600 roubles at that time, compared to about £1. 87 million today. This famed Fabergé egg is 14.2 cm high and sold at Christie’s in New York for US$9.6 million during 2002.
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