A brief history of the Fabergé Imperial Egg
The name Fabergé has long evoked thoughts of opulence, wealth and royalty in the minds of individuals around the world for over a century. The Imperial Eggs are still considered to be some of the most exquisite decorative works ever created. The history of the House of Fabergé is an extraordinary adventure.
The Fabergé egg: An emblematic piece from an historic House
One of the world’s most revered Russian jewelers
From 1884 to 1917, Fabergé worked for the Russian Imperial Court. Fabergé’s reputation as an extraordinary jeweler quickly spread beyond the borders of Russia to other European courts who commissioned the company to create stunning works of art.
Peter Carl Fabergé, son of Gustav who founded the brand in 1842, created the first Fabergé Egg - an emblematic objet d’art. The Russian Emperor commissioned Fabergé to create an Easter egg for his Empress. Fabergé was given carte blanche as to its design; the only stipulation was that the egg had to contain a surprise. Fabergé presented the Emperor with a one-of-a-kind object featuring richly pigmented layers of glass enamel, gold leaf and laced metalwork. After its presentation, a new tradition was born, each year the Emperor commissioned a new egg, also known as an Imperial Egg.
Only fifty-four Fabergé Imperial Eggs were created
Only fifty-four original Fabergé eggs were created for the Russian Tsars and other great rulers of the world. The Queen of England owns three of them: the Column Egg Clock, the Basket of Flowers and the Mosaic Egg. Others can be seen in various museums, including the Fabergé Museum in Baden-Baden, Germany, where you can admire the Rothschild Egg that sold for £8,9 million in 2007.
Fabergé eggs are visually brilliant. They quench our thirst for beautifully made things and the history behind them continues to fascinate us to this day. Today Fabergé creates contemporary jewelry that features this iconic object by offering modern versions of the Imperial Egg in their opulent collections - Heritage and Imperial.
Record-breaking auction sales
Fabergé Egg Hunt
During the Bolshevik Revolution, many of the Imperial Eggs were sold and found new homes around the world, from the United States to Germany, Switzerland and France.
Each Fabergé Egg encases a history and fascinating journey of its own. They are mystifying pieces surrounded by splendor and are part of a rich chronicle of historic events. These eggs are some of the most intriguing works of art in the world of gold smithing and their worldwide reputation is only amplified by the auctions handling their sales.
The most important Fabergé egg sales in history
The following lists some of the most historic sales of Fabergé eggs dating back to the early 2000s:
- April 20, 2002: Winter Egg - Fabergé. Sold for US$9.6 million in auction at Christie’s in New York.
- 2004: the Russian billionaire Victor Vekselberg bought a collection of nine eggs and more than 100 pieces of jewelry for more than $100 million.
- 28 November 2007: Rothschild Fabergé egg. Alexander Ivanov purchased this Imperial Egg for £8,9 million.
- 2014: A Fabergé egg that contains a Vacheron-Constantin clock was almost sold for scrap metal. It was later sold to an anonymous collector for US$33 million.
Rewriting history: New Fabergé eggs
The House of Fabergé recently designed a collection of four Imperial Eggs representing the seasons of the year. The value of the collection is estimated at more than 3 million euros.