The most expensive Faberge items that can be found in Faberge Virginia Museum

We have seen more than a hundred years of Faberge eggs, but are still not sure whether a particular egg is the real Faberge or just a Faberge egg replica. Eggs have been associated with Easter for many years as a symbol of the resurrection of Jesus Christ on Easter Sunday. In Russia too, this tradition had been continued for many years till the late nineteenth century. At this time, the Imperial family used to rule over Russia. In 1885, the Russian ruler Alexander III commissioned the renowned jeweller Peter Carl Faberge to design a special Easter egg which he would gift to the Empress Fyodorovna, who was his wife.

The First Faberge Eggs

faberge

The initial Faberge eggs had a unique design. They were plain white on the outside, and on opening the white shell, there was yellow yolk like solid substance inside. This also could be opened to reveal an intricately carved hen inside, and this hen was seen resting on a golden colored nest. Again this small hen could also be ‘opened’ to reveal a tiny replica of the Imperial crown. And beside the crown, you could see the small ruby pendant that was the real gift intended for the recipient. The other royals soon warmed to this and began to commission their own Faberge eggs. After many years, this royal tradition soon gave way to the tradition of commoners also ordering their own Faberge egg replica for themselves.

The Sincerest Form of Flattery

They say that an object is imitated only when it is the best in class. Because the enamelled Easter eggs were so well carved and beautiful, it was very common to see many a Faberge egg replica being sold off as an original. Someone who has seen a large number of originals would be able to identify the real ones from the fakes. Some of the characteristics that tell us whether an egg is real or not are the quality of the enamel and the design quality of the egg.

The Faberge Virginia museum

A large collection of Faberge eggs was part of the estate of Mrs. Lilian Thomas Pratt, which consisted of about 500 valuable items of which almost 400 were Faberge eggs. Before her death, she bequeathed this valuable collection to the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (VMFA). The VMFA continued to grow this collection, and today they have 323 Faberge items on display. This is by far the largest Faberge collection in the US today.

The Two Most Expensive Faberge Items at VMFA

Every one of the hundreds of Faberge items are exquisite in their beauty and very valuable by themselves. Let us take a look at two of the most valuable items of this collection:

1. Red Cross with Imperial Portraits

This egg is enamelled and is also embedded with jewels. It was built towards the end of the Faberge period. Instead of his wife, Nicholas II had this Faberge egg commissioned for his mother. The basic raw material of this egg is silver, on which there are several horizontal bands in gold. The most attractive feature of this egg are the two red-colored crosses. Additionally, there is a hinged folding screen which holds portraits of five women from the House of Romanov and adorning the uniform of the Red Cross. Because of all these details, it is almost impossible to create a Faberge egg replica.

faberge egg

2. Tsarevich

This is a jewelled Faberge egg with an attractive blue coloured shell of the egg. The material of this blue shell is lapis lazuli, and it is encased in an attractive golden network of leafy scrolls. Like most Faberge eggs, this one also has a surprise in the form of a regal looking eagle inside which there is a miniature portrait of the Tsarevich Alexis, in whose honor it was commissioned.

faberge eggs

Conclusion

The unparalleled beauty and the limited numbers of Faberge eggs have made them so valuable across the world. You will find very well crafted Faberge egg replicas which you can use as showpieces in your home. These Faberge eggs will enhance the beauty of your home and add a touch of class, taking you back to the erstwhile royals of Russia and their trusted designer Faberge, who left us these priceless wonders.

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