Expensive things interest me little if the value is merely in so many diamonds and pearls.” said Peter Carl Fabergé. This quote would come to represent the DNA of Fabergé, a house known for its painstakingly exquisite craftsmanship and dedication to tradition.
Of the 200,000 objets d’art made by Fabergé, only 50 of them are the Russian imperial eggs that would make the house’s name renowned throughout the world. The tradition began when Tsar Alexander III commissioned Fabergé to make an Easter egg as a gift for his wife, the Empress Maria Feodorovna. The egg was designed to deceive and delight, a gold egg enrobed in white enamel to look like an average chicken’s egg. Upon closer inspection, one can see that the egg pulls apart to reveal a golden yolk, which in turn opens to produce a golden hen that opens to reveal a miniature of the Imperial Crown containing a ruby egg. The Third Imperial Egg has become one of the most well-known of the collection in recent years. In 2010, a scrap metal buyer purchased the Louis XVI-style egg at a flea market for $13,000. He purchased it exclusively for the gold, intending to melt it down. He later learned that it was, in fact, one of the lost Fabergé eggs made for the Russian imperial family. The fluted gold egg was valued at $33,000,000 and sold to a private buyer.
These two fabled treasures are the inspiration for Fabergé’s Centenary Egg, which has been created to commemorate the 100-year anniversary of Peter Carl Fabergé’s passing and pay homage to the tradition of the imperial eggs. The egg will include exactly 10 kilograms (22 pounds) of 18-karat gold, one for each decade since Fabergé’s death. The objet will be entirely fluted in a radiating sunbeam pattern set with diamonds. In the true spirit of Fabergé, it will also contain a hidden surprise of ethically sourced Gemfields Mozambican rubies and Zambian emeralds.
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