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HOME : Decorative Arts : Faberge Style Antiques : Fabergé Style Egg
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Fabergé Style Egg - PF.5278
Origin: St. Petersburg, Russian
Circa: 20 th Century AD
Dimensions: 4" (10.2cm) high x 1.75" (4.4cm) wide
Collection: Decorative Arts
Medium: Enameled Silver

Location: United States
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Of all of the creations of the House of Fabergé none possesses the mystique attached to the Imperial Easter Eggs. Their centrality to Fabergé’s entire oeuvre is so dominant that one immediately thinks of these eggs first whenever the name of Fabergé is mentioned. In order to place these eggs in context, it is worth recalling that the egg was anciently imbued with overtones of resurrection, later a suitable symbol for Christian Easter. The practice of distributing eggs as reminder’s of Christ’s resurrection began in the Middle Ages, and developed in Russia where the traditional gift of an egg at Easter was accompanied by the recipient receiving three kisses. In Russia, such Easter eggs may be lavishly decorated, as examples of pysanky, the art of beautifully dyed Ukrainian Easter eggs, reveal. The practice of presenting actual Easter eggs, therefore, was an established tradition in Russia, but Fabergé perfected the concept of creating bejeweled Easter eggs for the Russian Imperial family when he created the very first for Tsar Alexander III to present to his wife, the Tsarina Maria Feodorovna, as a gift on Easter 1885. The House of Fabergé created an entire line of Easter eggs for clients and patrons other than the Russian Imperial family. This particular example is a reflection of those creations, and represents a variation of the theme of the Easter egg in the form of an egg-shaped goblet framed by a foot and neck which are symmetrically designed as mirror-images of one another. In keeping with Fabergé’s love of flowers, predicated on the observation that flowers were a constant reminder of the long White Nights of the summers in St. Petersburg where winters are accompanied by extremely short days and bitter cold nights, floral forms dominate this creation and evoke an enchanted, fairy-tale forest. Dr. Robert Steven Bianchi References: Robert Steven Bianchi, Fabergé. Exhibition Album (St. Petersburg 2000), pages 18-21, passim, for a succinct discussion about and his Imperial Easter eggs. For examples of Fabergé’s use of the egg motif incorporated into the design of other deluxe objects, see Geza Von Habsburg, Alexander von Solodkoff, and Robert Steven Bianchi, Fabergé. Imperial Craftsman and his World (London 2000), page 164, catalogue number 316 (the handle for a walking stick); page 189, catalogue numbers 398 and 403 (scent-flasks); page 181, catalogue number 405 (a bonbonnière); passim. - (PF.5278)


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