“The official opening ceremony of the first privately owned Fabergé Museum in Russia took place on November 19, 2013, in the Shuvalov Palace in St. Petersburg. The founding organization of the museum is the Link of Times cultural and historical foundation, which was established in 2004 with the aim of repatriating items of cultural significance to Russia.
The idea of creating a series of museums in Russia dedicated to the works of the great jeweler Carl Fabergé first came to the Link of Times in 2004. In that year, The Link of Times Foundation purchased a one-of-a-kind collection of Fabergé works which had been collected by Malcolm Forbes. Since then, the foundation has been collecting Russian works of decorative and fine art and has amassed more than 4,000 items today. In terms of its size, diversity, and the quality of its pieces, many of which belonged to the royal family and other members of the royal courts of Europe, the collection is without a doubt one of the best in the world.”
“The most valuable items in the Museum’s collection are the nine Imperial Easter Eggs created by Fabergé for the last two Russian emperors. Each of them is a masterpiece of jewelry and art, as well as a unique historical monument to the reign and personal life of Alexander III and Nicholas II.”
In this writing I will only showcase the Eggs, the aspect of the Museum I found most fascinating.” Source – Fabergé Museum website, http://fabergemuseum.ru
1. Bay Tree Easter Egg
The Bay Tree Easter Egg (with key) was presented by Nicholas II as a gift to his mother, the Dowager Empress Maria Feodorovna, Easter, 1911.
Nicholas II was crowned the Grand Emperor of all of Russia at the age of 24.
2. Cockerel Easter Egg
The Cockerel Easter Egg (with key) was presented by Nicholas II as a gift to his mother the Dowager Empress Maria Fyodorovna, Easter, 1910.
Fabergé continued making the Easter Eggs after the death of Alexander III, two Eggs, one was gifted to Nicholas’ mother, the former Tsarina and one to his wife Alexandra.
3. Fifteenth Anniversary Easter Egg
The Fifteenth Anniversary Easter Egg was presented by Nicholas II as a gift to his mother, the Dowager Empress Maria Feodorovna, Easter, 1911. It is the only Egg made to order.
4. Hen Easter Egg
The Hen Easter Egg was first of the Imperial Series. It was presented by Emperor Alexander III as a gift to his wife, the Empress Maria Feodorovna, Easter, 1885, in St. Petersburg. This first Egg was made of pure white enamel outside with two halves separated by a fine gold band. When opened it revealed a gold hen with ruby eyes.
5. Imperial Coronation Easter Egg
The Imperial Coronation Easter Egg is a jeweled Egg which was made to commemorate the Coronation of Tsar Nicholas II as a gift to his wife, the Empress Alexandra Feodorovna, Easter, 1897.
The miniature carriage is an exact copy of the Coronation Carriage.
6. Lillies of the Valley Easter Egg
The Lillies of the Valley Easter Egg was presented by the Emperor Nicholas II as a gift to his wife, the Empress Alexandra Feodorovna, Easter, 1898. Lillies of the valley were the favorite flowers of Empress Alexandra.
7. Order of St. George Easter Egg
The Order of St. George Easter Egg was a gift from Emperor Nicholas II to his mother, the Dowager Empress Maria Feodorovna, Easter 1916.
This was the only Egg which Maria took with her when she fled the 1917 Revolution. She kept it until her death in 1928 in Denmark.
8. Renaissance Easter Egg Jewelry Box
The Renaissance Easter Egg Jewelry Box was presented by the Emperor Alexander III as a gift to his wife Maria Feodorovna, Easter, 1894. The Emperor died this same year.
9. Rosebud Easter Egg
The Rosebud Easter Egg was made in a neoclassical taste and became the first Fabergé Easter Egg souvenir to be given by Nicholas II to Alexandra Feodorovna adopted Russian Orthodoxy as her religion. It was symbolic of his love for her and the yellow rose was popular in the princess’ home origin, Germany.
Peter Carl Fabergé, also known as Karl Gustavovich Fabergé (30 May 1846 – 24 September 1920), was a Russian jeweller best known for the famous Fabergé eggs made in the style of genuine Easter eggs, but using precious metals and gemstones rather than more mundane materials. He’s the founder of the famous jewelry legacy House of Fabergé.
History of the Imperial Eggs
“In light of the Empress Maria Feodorovna’s response to receiving one of Fabergé’s eggs on Easter, the Tsar (Alexander III) soon commissioned the company to make an Easter egg as a gift for her every year thereafter. The Tsar placed an order for another egg the following year. Beginning in 1887, the Tsar apparently gave Carl Fabergé complete freedom with regard to egg designs, which then became more and more elaborate. According to Fabergé Family tradition, not even the Tsar knew what form they would take— the only stipulation was that each one should be unique and each should contain a surprise. Upon the death of Alexander III, his son, the next Tsar, Nicholas II, followed this tradition and expanded it by requesting that there be two eggs each year, one for his mother (who was eventually given a total of 30 such eggs) and one for his wife, Alexandra (who received another 20). These Easter gift eggs are today distinguished from the other jeweled eggs Fabergé ended up producing by their designation as “Imperial Easter eggs” or “Tsar Imperial Easter eggs”. The tradition continued until the October Revolution when the entire Romanov dynasty was executed and the eggs and many other treasures were confiscated by the interim government. The two final eggs were never delivered nor paid for.”