Friday, January 06, 2012

Fabergé Friday

This year's first Imperial Easter Egg is number thirteen - the "Rock Crystal Egg" or "Revolving Miniatures Egg", from 1896!


The outer shell of the egg is rock crystal, with a band of emerald-green enameled gold studded with diamonds holding the two halves together. Crowning the egg is a 27 carat Siberian emerald, supported by an emerald-green enameled gold mount. This emerald is one of the largest gems Fabergé used in any of the Imperial eggs! The egg sits on a plinth of rock crystal, on top of which is a colorful base made of enameled gold and rose-cut diamonds. Circling this base are the the two monograms of Alexandra Feodorovna; the one she had as Princess Alix of Hesse-Darmstadt, and the new one she got when she became Empress of Russia.


Inside the egg are twelve miniature paintings framed in gold. The miniatures have been painted by Johannes Zehngraf, and depict different palaces and residents that had been part of Alexandra's life.


The surprise of this egg is that when you press the big emerald on top, it engages a mechanism that rotates the miniatures inside the egg. A hook moves down and folds the framed pictures back - like the pages in a book - so two paintings can be fully sen at one time.

After being seized by the Kerensky Provisional Government, and then - in the 30s - sold to the Hammer Galleries in New York, this egg then became the last of five Imperial Easter Eggs bought by Lillian Thomas Pratt, in 1945. When she died the egg was willed to Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, Virginia, and can still be seen on display there.




4 comments:

  1. I want the egg purely for the pictures inside and the beautiful emerald on top, majestic!! I love these eggs :)))) xx

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  2. Those miniature paintings inside are actually AMAZING, this is a work of art!

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  3. nice look !

    http://glamourgirl-bg.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete

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