The Glitter of Times Past
Fabergé eggs are decorative jeweled eggs that were created in St. Petersburg, Russia, by the House of Fabergé. Their creation was supervised by Peter Carl Faberge between 1885 and 1917. Of the (possibly) 69 total eggs that were made, 57 are known to still exists. The most famous of all the eggs were the ones made for the Russian Imperial family; of those 52 eggs, 46 are known to still survive. Following the Russian Revolution, the Fabergé family and their firm left Russia, and in the decades since, several of the eggs have remained lost.
The Alexander III Commemorative Egg
This egg was created in 1909 for Russian tsar Nicholas II, who gave it as a present to his mother, Dowager Empress Maria Feodorovna; the egg commemorated her husband, who had died fifteen years earlier. The surprise inside the egg is a gold bust of Alexander III.
The Royal Danish Egg
Also known as the Danish Jubilee Egg, this egg was another created for Nicholas II to give to his other Maria Feodorovna, who was born a Danish princess. This egg, made in 1903, was made of light blue and white enamel with golden ornaments and precious stones; the surprise inside consisted of miniature portraits of the Dowager Empress’s parents, Christian IX of Denmark & Louise of Hesse-Kassel.
The Mauve Egg
Yet another egg for Maria Feodorovna. The Mauve Egg was created in 1897. and it was consisted of strawberry red, green, and white enamel, as well as rose-cut diamonds, pearls, and watercolors on ivory. The surprise inside was a heart-shaped photo that opened as a three-leaf clover; it contained portraits of Nicholas II, Tsarina Alexandra. And their oldest child, Olga. Interestingly, although the egg itself is lost, the surprise is not; it is currently on display in a Russian museum.
Hen With Sapphire Pendant Egg
Like the other eggs on this list, this egg was given to Maria Feodorovna; this time by her husband, Alexander III, in 1886. The exact design of this egg is unknown, as there are conflicting written accounts and no known photographs; one source describes it as being a hen taking a sapphire egg out of a nest, with the hen and nest being made of gold studded with rose-cut diamonds. The surprise inside remains unknown.
Cherub With Chariot Egg
Made in 1888 and presented to Maria Feodorovna by Alexander II, the exact design of this egg is unsure, what with it being one of the lost eggs. The only description of the egg exists in the Russian State Historical Archives in Moscow. It is described as “a gold egg, decorated with diamonds, a sapphire; with a silver, gilded stand in the form of a two-wheeled wagon with a putto.”
Created and given to Maria Feodorovna by Alexander III; Necessairé. Although it is dubbed as being a lost egg; it is known to have at least survived the Russian Revolution. Having been sold in London by Wartski in 1952. This egg was described as an etui, or necessairé, containing women’s toilet items; in the 1917 inventory of confiscated Imperial treasure, it is described as being decorated with “multi-colored stone and brilliants, rubies, emeralds, and sapphires.”