I can’t believe we are in Russia! Our first stop in St. Petersburg was to the Fabergé Museum to see the one-of-a-kind eggs created by Russian court jeweler Carl Fabergé. A side story here – early in my career, I was responsible for advertising and my company advertised a great deal in Forbes magazine. Forbes invited me to NYC for a day (via their jet, the Forbes Capitalist Tool). While there, we had a private tour of Malcolm Forbes’ collection of 13 Fabergé eggs – the largest collection outside of St. Petersburg at the time. Forbes collected the eggs, along with many other of Fabergé’s jeweled and enamel pieces, for half a century. In 2004, the Forbes collection in its entirety was purchased and returned to Russia.
Fast forward to the present – I am lucky to see most of these remarkable eggs again today!
There were a total of 69 famed eggs made between 1885 and 1917. Of these eggs, 50 were known as the “Imperial eggs,” and made for the Russian Tsars Alexander III and Nicholas II as Easter gifts for their wives and mothers. Of the 50 Imperials, 44 are known to still exist today.
The Renaissance Egg was a jeweled agate egg, was one of my favorites in the collection. Made in 1894, it is believed to be the last egg Alexander III gave to his wife, Maria.
The Imperial Coronation Egg is made from gold with translucent lime yellow enamel to commemorate Tsaritsa, Empress Alexandra Fyodorovna, and is said to mirror her coronation gown.
The Kelch Chanticleer egg was made for a Russian industrialist and is one of the largest eggs made. Upon the hour, a rooster emerges from the top of the egg, flaps its wings, nods its head, and crows.
The museum also contained incredible works of Russian enamel pieces, silver, and paintings. A must-see stop if you are in St. Petersburg!