Dr. Wilfried Zeisler, Chief Curator Hillwood Estate, Museum & Gardens presented the history of the House of Fabergé under Carl Fabergé.
Carl Fabergé’s jewelry workshop made Fifty (50) Imperial Easter Eggs for the Russian Imperial family, from 1885 to 1916. Each taking a year or more to craft, and according to Fabergé, designs were produced in secrecy, “the only prerequisite being that they contained a surprise.”
After the overthrow of the Tsar in 1916, the Soviet Communists sold many Imperial treasures including the Fabergé eggs as part of a policy of turning “treasures into tractors.” The introductory 45 minutes of Dr. Wilfried Zeisler presentation is available in the following video:
The Imperial Eggs can be seen at the Fabergé Website
Hillwood Museum will be displaying their Fabergé jewelry and eggs in an exhibition Fabergé Rediscovered from June 10, 2018 thru January 13, 2019
Ten (10) Eggs were produced from 1885 to 1893, during the reign of Emperor Alexander III. His son, Nicholas II continued the tradition adding forty (40) Eggs during his rule as Tsar of Russia. Two Eggs each year, one for his mother and one for his wife.
Of the 50 eggs 43 have been found, some as recently as 2001 and 2011. The Imperial Eggs can be viewed on the Fabergé Website. Eight (8) were thought to have been lost. Five (5) are assumed destroyed, as there is no reference to them after 1916. If they have survived, their locations remain a mystery.
The Third Egg: Tsar Alexander III’s 1887 Easter gift to his wife, Tsarina Maria Feodorovna, was on the brink of being melted down for scrap in the U.S. in 2011, before being identified.
Its rediscovery has raised the prospect that seven others are sitting in dusty attics or on mantelpieces, as unidentified trinkets worth millions of dollars.
Seven (7) Missing Imperial Easter Eggs – Year Made and Description:
1886 Hen Egg with Sapphire Pendant
1888 Cherub Egg with Chariot
1889 Necessaire Egg
1897 Mauve Enamel Egg – Only the egg’s surprise has survived.
1902 Empire Nephrite Egg
1903 Danish Jubilee Egg
1909 Alexander II Commemorative Egg
Where are the forty three (43) Fabergé Imperial eggs today?
The Imperial Eggs can be viewed on the Fabergé Website.
Forbes Magazine Collection, New York
1885 Hen Egg
1894 Renaissance Egg
1895 Rosebud Egg
1897 Coronation Egg
1898 Lilies of the Valley Egg
1900 Cockerel Egg
1911 Bay Tree Egg
1911 Fifteenth Anniversary Egg
1916 Order of St. George Egg
Kremlin Armoury Museum, Moscow
1891 Memory of Azov Egg
1899 Bouquet of Lilies Clock Egg
1900 Trans-Siberian Railway Egg
1902 Clover Egg
1906 Moscow Kremlin Egg
1908 Alexander Palace Egg
1909 Standart Egg
1910 Alexander III Equestrian Egg
1913 Romanov Tercentenary Egg
1916 Steel Military Egg
Virginia Museum of Arts Richmond, Bequest of Lillian Thomas Pratt
1896 Revolving Miniatures Egg
1898 Pelican Egg
1903 Peter the Great Egg
1912 Czarevich Egg
1915 Red Cross Egg with Imperial Portraits
The Matilda Geddings Gray Foundation New Orleans Museum of Art
1890 Danish Palaces Egg
1893 Caucasus Egg
1912 Napoleonic Egg
The Royal Collection, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II
1901 Basket of Wild Flowers Egg
1910 Colonnade Egg
1914 Mosaic Egg
The Edouard and Maurice Sandoz Foundation, Switzerland
1906 Swan Egg
1908 Peacock Egg
The Marjorie Merriweather Post Collection at Hillwood Museum, Washington, DC
1895 Twelve Monograms Egg – folding screen for six miniature frames missing
1914 Grisaille Egg
The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore
1901 Gatchina Palace Egg
1907 Rose Trellis Egg
The India Early Minshall Collection Cleveland Museum of Art
1915 Red Cross Egg with Triptych
Prince Rainier III of Monaco Collection
1895 Blue Serpent Clock Egg
1887 Third Imperial Egg – found in 2011 Sold in 2014
1892 Diamond Trellis Egg
1896 Alexander III Egg
1899 Pansy Egg
1907 Cradle with Garlands Egg
1913 Winter Egg
Because of the Russian Revolution, Two (2) eggs were never finished or presented.
1917 Constellation Egg – Made for Tsaritsa Alexandra Feodorovna.
Two eggs are claimed to be the Constellation Egg:
1917 Karelian Birch Egg – Surprise is missing – Made for Empress Maria Feodorovna.
Considered lost until 2001, it is currently displayed at Ivanov’s Fabergé Museum in Baden-Baden, Germany.
The DCGIA Members enjoyed Dr. Wilfried Zeisler’s informative presentation and we look forward to a field trip to the Hillwood – Fabergé Rediscovered exhibit this summer!