Sunday, April 17, 2011

Egg Decorating: The Fabergé Lillies of the Valley Egg

This week, rather than posting a whole mess of the eggs at once as we did last year I thought we'd have a couple per day.

While Fabergé created thousands of jeweled Easter eggs it is the 65 large eggs that receive the most attention. Included in that number are the 50 Imperial eggs, of which the wherabouts are known for 42.
There are no eggs referencing Palm Sunday so I was Ieft to choose from those with either a biblical motif or some green coloring.

An odd little site called Pearly's Qunol has the most pictures, Treasures of Imperial Russia the highest pixel counts..
Here's the 1898 Lillies of the Valley egg.

The Fabergé Czar Imperial Easter Eggs - part 1a

From Treasures of Imperial Russia:

The egg enameled translucent rose pink over a guilloché ground and surmounted by a diamond and ruby-set Imperial crown, the egg divided into four quadrants by diamond-set borders, each quadrant with climbing gold sprays of lily of the valley, the flowers formed by diamond-petaled pearls, the finely sculpted gold leaves enameled translucent green and rising from curved legs formed of wrapped gold leaves set with diamonds ending in scroll feet topped with pearls, a pearl-set knob at the side of the egg activates a mechanism which causes the crown to rise revealing a fan of three diamond-framed portrait miniatures of Tsar Nicholas II and the children of Nicholas and Alexandra, Grand Duchesses Olga and Tatiana, each signed by the miniaturist Johannes Zehngraf, the reeded gold backs of the miniatures engraved with the date 5.IV.1898, marked on these backplates with Cyrillic initials of workmaster, Fabergé in Cyrillic and assay mark of 56 standard for 14 karat gold.
Fabergé's invoice lists this egg as:
“April 10. Pink enamel egg with three portraits, green enamel leaves,
lilies of the valley pearls with rose-cut diamonds. St. Petersburg, May 7, 1898 6700r.” 1 The Lilies of the Valley Egg is adorned with the favorite flowers and the favorite jewels – pearls and diamonds – of the young Empress. It also contains, as its surprise, miniatures of her three favorite people in the world: her adored husband Nicholas and her two daughters, Olga (born 1895) and Tatiana (born 1897). Moreover, Fabergé designed the egg in the Tsarina's favorite style – Art Nouveau. Doubtless this egg was also one of her favorite objects by the Russian master.

The eight missing eggs would make for one heck of an Easter egg hunt.