Tuesday, March 26, 2013

The lost Fabergé eggs

Peter Carl Fabergé and his brother Agathon were Russian jewellers of French descent based in St. Petersburg. They became famous for the quality and beauty of their work. In 1885 Tsar Alexander III (House of Romanov) commissioned the production of the gold and enamel 'Hen Egg' for his wife the Empress Maria. The tsarina and the tsar enjoyed the egg so much that Alexander III ordered a new egg from Fabergé for his wife every Easter thereafter. The egg is currently located in Russia as part of the Vekselberg Collection. Fabergé was made ‘Goldsmith by Special Appointment to the Imperial Crown’ and over the next 33 years 52 eggs were made for the Russian Royal Family as well as a further 15 for other private buyers.
The 1917 Russian Revolution toppled Tsar Nicholas II who was executed along with much of the royal family in July 1918. The Fabergé eggs and many other treasures of the Royal family were confiscated and stored in the vaults of the Kremlin Armoury. Some were sold to raise funds for the new regime. Over time eight of the original 52 Imperial eggs have vanished and their whereabouts remain a mystery to this day. In 2007 'The Rothschild' egg was sold at Christies Auction House for $8.9 million.




In 2002 the 1913 Faberge "Winter Egg" sold for 7.2 million Swiss francs ($5.5 million US) at Christie's.