link - article by Avi Abrams

Nestled Wonders (with the Easter Egg Surprises Inside)

Russian jeweller of a Baltic German descent, Peter Carl Faberge, has been consistently creating incredibly intricate Easter eggs for the Russian Imperial Court between 1885 and 1917.

These rare and unique "objects of desire" had the cover of enameled gold and gem stones, which would open to reveal hidden wonders inside - sometimes a golden yolk, or a delicately sculpted figure, or other mechanical inserts - all nestled in many levels like a traditional Russian matryoshka doll. As it is only fitting for an Easter Egg, each one contained a surprise! (could it be that the modern term "easter egg surprise" originated at the Russian court?)

Here is a list of every known Faberge egg in existence (only sixty one of them survived), each design uniquely different and eminently collectible. The advent of Bolshevik's Revolution has put a resolute stop to the production of jeweled eggs in Russia... as it put a stop to just about any traditional creative activity for decades.

Some eggs featured an exquisite built-in clock, some were placed among even more elaborate gold & gemstones figures - like royal carriage models, or arrangements of bejeweled flowers. Most concealed a mechanism of some kind, so it's quite fascinating to see them in action - a true wonder of miniature engineering and microscopic art.

There were eggs to commemorate the coronation of Czar Nicholas II, the completion of the Trans Siberian Railway, and many Royal anniversaries. There were eggs depicting the Imperial yacht, the Uspensky Cathedral, the Gatchina Palace, and during the time of war, the Red Cross and the military.

To get an idea what kind of the prices are asked for Faberge's works in prime condition, the following egg is known to have been auctioned at $18 million dollars. It is an unrecorded egg, not found in most catalogs... which makes the asking price even more astonishing (more info) -

(image credit: Robert Catalano)

Note the level of miniaturization in this example: Gatchina Palace Egg, 1901 -

(image credit: Mary Harrsch)

The Regis Galerie inside the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas boasts a few Faberge Eggs on display:

(image credit: tsaiware)

Also see this fine flickr set for additional egg pictures.
Some jewelry that accompanied these eggs is also worth mentioning:

Even today the style and workmanship of jewelers at the Russian Imperial Court continue to inspire artists and architects: see for example The Grand Lisboa structure in Macau, China -

(image credit: James A)

Sources: The Faberge Experience, Russian Gifts


Also Read: Miniature Palaces and Dollhouses

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Category: Art,Vintage
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Blogger Tozé said...

I've live in Macau for almost 14 years now and I can assure you that the Grand Lisboa is an architectural eye-sore.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The problem being with Faberge jewel art is that a lot of it got destroyed in the Bolshevik uprising, as did a lot of great russian designs...


O.k, not much but still one great thing was nearly permanently destroyed.

But thats the price you pay with the scar of Communism.

Blogger Avi Abrams said...

Will, yea they destroyed Smirnoff but kept the vodka... of pretty ugly variety.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well what’s some peasant’s life worth anyway, spend it all on jewelry and let the people starve

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I completely agree with you

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Har! Yes, the life of the peasant was ever so much better under Communism.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I ended up doing a school project on these eggs-at first, I thought I'm simply be discussing pretty jewely egg things made by some guy in Russia. But there's a lot more history involved. It amazes me how the royal family could spend so much money on a couple eggs every easter and still let Russia's desolate people waste away.
I mean, wow. Had they used the money for materials and whatnot to make them to feed and provide other kinds of care to their people, they might have saved a lot of lives.

Anonymous Jim-Bob said...

The sad fact about Communism is that it replaced one rigid class system with another. The history of Communism was every bit as bad as Feudalism, and in many cases worse. The common people did not reap any benefits despite all the rhetoric handed down from on high. The ruling elite had a disproportionate amount of wealth as compared to the proletariat. As such, it was far from a classless society. Did the Romanov's have an obscenely lavish lifestyle compared to the peasants? Yes, but so did every Soviet leader except for maybe Lenin. Some may argue that the Soviet Union was never really a pure communist state as per the writings of Marx. That may be true, but Marx was too much of an idealist and failed to properly deal with human nature, and the desire of the individual to differentiate from the crowd. So, the theory works on paper, but can never work in reality.

As for the eggs, they are a beautiful example of the ingenuity and creativity of the Russian people.

Blogger Avi Abrams said...


Good insight, which I believe to be entirely correct. It's hard to summarize the whole chapter of history or ideology, but you did it remarkably well. Cheers!

Anonymous pantherboy@yahoo.com said...


Anonymous Anonymous said...

They didnt buy these eggs. The eggs were given to the Tsar and his family as a gift every year.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Tsar paid for the eggs, they were not a gift. I just finished the book "Fabrege Eggs" by Toby Faber and they were not gifts.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Regardless of whether they purchased them or not they did employ countless workers to produce them and left a beautiful legacy of artwork that is enjoyed throughout the world. There's something to be said for that too. People love to find fault with everything.

Blogger Ketutar said...

So today's millionaires and rulers should use their money feeding the poor, healing the sick and comforting the lonely?
It's, of course, much better that they make nail polish with real gold in it, for the rich to use their money on, than things like this. :-D

Anonymous Bestpysanky said...

You may find over 100 copies of famous Faberge eggs at http://www.bestpysanky.com/Faberge-Eggs-s/88.htm

Imperial and Faberge inspired Russian eggs are perfect gift.

Anonymous Health Guide Yolanda said...

Incredible pictures. I wonder how the 12 that were damaged looked. Were they even better than these? And if anyone knows of a book or movie that gives more background into the Faberge egg, please share a link or name. Thanks!

Anonymous Elena said...

Jim-Bob, Communism's implementation led to a new class system, but it is a complex phenomenon. Comparing it to feudalism oversimplifies the differences. While communism aimed for a classless society, human nature and challenges resulted in new power structures. It's important to distinguish between the idealistic vision and imperfect reality.

People did benefit from communism in areas like education and healthcare. Inequalities exist in capitalist societies too. Communism's failure cannot be solely attributed to Marx's idealism, as economic inefficiencies, external pressures, and political corruption also played roles.

Understanding socioeconomic systems requires recognizing complexities and avoiding oversimplifications. Analyzing historical context provides a more accurate understanding.

Blogger Avi Abrams said...

Quite a thoughtful comment... thank you


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