Fabergé Eggs

Brief History of Fabergé Eggs

Fabergé is an iconic name in the world of jewellery, first growing to popularity in the 1840’s, the work of Fabergé is now world renowned. The company grew to importance due to Carl Fabergé’s work for the Russian imperial family. The first ‘egg’, the Hen Egg, was a gift from the Tsar to his wife. She was so delighted upon receiving the present, that the Tsar commissioned one for every Easter
following, and gave Fabergé the title ‘Goldsmith by Special Appointment to the Imperial Crown’. The company continued to grow in popularity until 1918, when Fabergé was seized by the Bolsheviks. The stock was confiscated and the business was nationalised. In 1924, Carl’s sons who had managed to escape the revolution reformed the company, and began to rebuild with a continued focus
on the quality of craftsmanship. In 1990, Victor Mayer GmbH began their relationship with Fabergé, and became the official work masters. Victor Mayer (1857-1946), the company founder, embodied the philosophy of Fabergé. His focus was to produce high-quality design, with skilled craftsmanship.  The company has never forgotten their historic roots and continues to pay homage to the original Fabergé and the relationship they once shared with the Russian royal family in their continued production of limited edition eggs.

Our Eggs

In our upcoming Fine Jewellery sale on the 15th June, we have seven stunning examples of Fabergé eggs created in collaboration with the work master Victor Mayer. Among the most impressive are three eggs from the same collection – The Four Seasons collection.

The Four Seasons

Mayer’s ‘The Four Seasons’ collection drew inspiration from Vivaldi’s composition of the same name and features the Spring Egg (1996), Winter Egg (1997), Autumn Egg (1998), and the Summer Egg (1999). Each Egg has a musical element and plays their theme from Vivaldi. For example, the Spring Egg plays the ‘spring theme’ and so on. Our upcoming sale is lucky enough to feature three Eggs from this collection – lots 167, 168 and 169. Each are delicately crafted, a testament to the workmanship of modern Fabergé. The eggs in this collection were each limited to an edition of ten, making these highly sought after and rare.

The Spring Egg

The Spring Egg Lot 168

The Spring Egg was first shown at the World’s Exhibition in Basel. This Egg pays homage to the Czar’s jeweller, Peter Carl Fabergé. This is because his 150th anniversary was celebrated the same year this egg was exhibited – 1996. Following the tradition of the Imperial Eggs, the Spring Egg has a surprise, not only is it musical, but when the egg is opened it reveals it’s hidden bouquet of citrin, blue topaz, and amethyst flowers, crowned with enamel leaves. The bouquet is mechanical, and turns to the music. 

The Winter egg

The Winter Egg – Lot 169

Victor Mayer’s Winter Egg is not to be confused with the imperial Winter Egg which was gifted to Maria Feodorovna by her son Nicholas II in 1913, and is now supposedly owned by Emir of Qatar. Mayer’s Winter Egg was first exhibited to the public in 1997 at the Inhorgenta Jewellery Exhibition in Munich. The Egg itselfis mounted on a Calcedon plinth, nested in a cluster of naturally grown rock crystals, and is decorated with shining blue enamel and delicate white gold snowflakes. When the object is turned, the yellow gold horse-drawn sleigh is set in motion and dances gently to Vivaldi around the central mountain that turns in the opposite direction.

The Summer Egg

The Summer Egg – Lot 167

The third egg from the collection that is going into our sale is the 1999 Summer Egg. Decorated with vibrant yellow enamel and topped with a translucent dome, the piece is charming addition to any collection. Within the dome there is a masterfully created gold dragonfly, which gently sits upon an enamel lily pad. Like the others, this egg is musical, a small button is pressed that brings the egg to life – Vivaldi plays as dragonfly takes flight, turning around the delicate lily pad.

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Cordelia Porter | BA (Hons), MRes


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