...continuing the family tradition
Twelve Monograms egg
After the death of Alexander III, in the short time remaining before the Easter holiday in 1895, Fabergé had not only to rework the egg that had originally been planned for Maria prior to her husband's death, but also to create an appropriate egg for Alexandra. The Twelve Monograms egg (1895) was the first Fabergé egg given by Czar Nicholas to his mother. Featuring in diamonds the royal insignia of Czar Alexander III set against a deep blue enamel background, Fabergé's understated creation was a fitting tribute for the mourning Dowager Empress.
Rosebud egg

For the new Czarina, Fabergé trimmed the strawberry red Rosebud egg (1895) with a diamond Cupid's arrow. The surprise inside was an enameled golden yellow rosebud, another symbol of the couple's love for one another. For the homesick young girl, the egg was also a reminder of her native country of Germany, where the golden yellow rose is the most prized color. Inside the rosebud was a tiny diamond-set Imperial crown, representing Alexandra's new life as the Empress of Russia.
the love between Nicholas and Alexandra
With the success of the Rosebud egg, Fabergé turned his attention toward an ambitious design for the following Easter. On May 9, 1896, Nicholas and Alexandra were crowned in the Uspenski Cathedral in Moscow in one of the most magnificent pageants of Russian history.

Fabergé's commemorative, the Coronation egg (1897), was larger and more lavish than any before. The surface was enameled primrose yellow in a field of starbursts. Trellised with bands of laurel made of gold, each intersection was marked by Imperial eagles bearing tiny diamonds on their chests. But the surprise inside was an even greater achievement: a precise reproduction – under four inches long – of the eighteenth-century coach that carried Alexandra to her coronation.

The original carriage was designed for Nicholas' great-great-great-grandmother, Catherine the Great in 1793. During the time it took to complete the replica, master craftsman George Stein made numerous clandestine visits to the imperial stables in order to perfectly match his work to the original. The model mimics every moving part of its prototype, right down to a working suspension.
Coronation egg
According to author Lynette Proler, "It was all done by hand and crafted by hand in such minute detail – every detail from the state carriage was included – from the little crown on the top of it in diamonds to the windows in rock crystal. And the little steps... when the Empress would alight from the carriage onto the steps, they would fall out of the carriage, and in the little miniature they do the same. It took approximately fifteen months to craft this carriage by hand working all day and well into the night, seven days a week, and it was barely finished just in time to be presented to the Empress."

(Ironically, when the Hermitage recently undertook to refurbish the original, Margaret Kelly, Director of the Forbes Magazine Collection, provided them with detailed photos of the Coronation egg from which to work.)

Attended by over seven thousand guests from around the world, including most of Europe's royalty, the coronation celebrations lasted for two weeks. But such extravagance stood in sharp contrast to conditions that existed outside the periphery of Imperial awareness. Russia has not kept pace with the rapid changes in economic and political life taking place elsewhere in Europe. And there were omens, signs that trouble loomed on her horizon...
tragic events following the coronation

young Fabergé |Romanov Russia | family tradition | House of Fabergé
remembrances | opulence | revolution | fate of the eggs | timeline

Mona Lisa
detail from Guernica
Lilies of the Valley Faberge Egg
Hope Diamond
Taj Mahal
scene from Borobudur

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