7 Unbelievable Facts About Fabergé Eggs
Fabergé eggs are one of the most known symbols of wealth, mystery and luxury. The way they were produced was so unique and secret, and each egg was crafted for up to a year in order to ensure a perfect composition of gems, precious metals and surprises waiting inside.
Why are Faberg eggs so mysterious and expensive? Where do they come from and when did people start producing world’s most expensive eggs?
Today, we’re exploring Fabergé eggs and sharing the most interesting facts about them.
1. The First Fabergé Egg Was A Gift To The Tzar’s Wife
The first Fabergé egg was created by Michael Perchin, a collaborator of the Russian jeweller Peter Carl Fabergé in 1895. But the story about the first Fabergé egg is actually interesting for another reason.
Namely, Tzar Alexander III ordered a jewelled egg for his wife, Maria Flodorovna that was originally from Denmark, but was homesick and feeling blue in her husband’s country. He wanted to cheer her up by giving her an impressive jewelled egg for Easter. And that’s how the tradition of making Fabergé eggs for the Russian royal family started.
2. The First Fabergé Egg Was Sold For Over $100 Million Dollars
However, it wasn’t sold alone. In 2004, the first Fabergé egg was a part of the Forbes collection that was sold for over $100 million dollars. However, experts say that the worth of the single egg was estimated at around $4 million.
It’s not really a small amount for an egg you would say?
3. Every Fabergé Egg Came With A Surprise
The celebrated jeweler Peter Carl Fabergé had complete artistic freedom in designing the royal Easter eggs. He usually designed each egg around a particular theme that was related to the royal family and every egg he did had to contain a surprise.
For instance, he created a Peacock Egg that had a peacock inside whose wings would spread as you would open the egg. He created the Red Cross Egg in 1915 in the honor of the Empress Alexandra Fedorovna for her efforts in the Red Cross charity. Fabergé created plenty of eggs that had tiny marvels that would still leave a big impression, such as a mechanical swan, a golden miniature of the palace and a working replica of the Coronation carriage.
4. The Most Expensive Easter Gift Tradition
We know how the story of making Fabergé eggs began, but what did egg have to do with Easter in 19th century Russia.
Well, Easter was seen as the most important holiday of the Russian Orthodox Church. On this day, people would bring their hand-painted eggs to the church to bless them and then they would give it to their closest ones.
So, after the positive reaction Maria Flodorovna had to her first Fabergé egg, Tzar decided to keep the tradition and surprise his wife with another egg every Easter. Their son Nicholas II also continued the tradition and ordered jewelled eggs from the House of Fabergé for his wife and mother every Easter too.
5. The Most Intriguing Easter Egg Hunt
Since the Romanov family started this tradition, it is no wonder that the fall of the Russian royal family caused the Imperial eggs to be at a high risk of being stolen or destroyed. Namely, after the Russian Revolution up until now, from a total of 50 eggs that were made for the Russia’s ruling family 7 of them are still missing.
Some were miraculously found in strange places or have been sold to unknown people that later sold it to private collectionists or museums. Where are the missing eggs? No one knows. However, experts fear that some of them might have been destroyed. The incentive to find the missing Fabergé eggs is so strong, that it looks impossible that someone wouldn’t reveal one in its possession for amounts that go as high as $30 Million.
6. Queen Elizabeth Owns Three Fabergé Eggs
Queen Elizabeth II is the owner of three Fabergé eggs. However, she didn’t buy them on auctions or got them as gifts. The Fabergé eggs she owns are a part of the heritage the British King George V and Queen Mary left her.
Namely, both of them were big fans of Fabergé objects and they purchased three of them back in 1933 – the Colonnade Egg Clock, the Basket of Flowers Egg and the Mosaic Egg.
7. One Fabergé Egg Was Almost Melted
Only a couple of years ago, a $20 million worth Fabergé egg was almost melted at an antiques market in the US. The egg was last seen in public in March 1902 (yes, more than a hundred years ago). It was bought by a scrap metal dealer for $8,000 without identifying the treasure he had just found.
He was thinking about melting the egg down of its gold. Luckily, before making his final decision he stumbled upon an article that described the Fabergé egg as a treasure estimated to be worth $20 million.