I don’t remember when it started. I don’t remember how it started. But for as long as I can remember, I have had a fascination for the works of art created by Carl Fabergé, especially the eggs.
The Virginia Institute of Art has one of the best Fabergé collections in the country, and part of that collection is currently on exhibit at the Detroit Institute of Art. As my best friend is also a fan, we headed down to Detroit this weekend to take in the exhibit. 500+ miles, 24 hours, 6 eggs! Sadly, no photography was allowed, so I have no pix to show you of the artwork. If you check out this Wikipedia page, you can see examples. Today, we saw both the Rose Trellis egg and the Peter the Great egg pictured there.
The craftsmanship is exquisite. What his craftsman (at one point he had 1500 craftsmen working for him) were able to do with gems, precious metals and enamel boggles the mind. The history is fascinating as well. He became a favorite of Tsar Alexander III of Russia, and as the official Goldsmith by special appointment of the crown, he was able to use the ruling family’s crest as part of his trademark. The patronage of the ruling family continued with Nicholas II. Though the Fabergé workshop was responsible for thousands of works of art, by far the best-known and most popular was the egg. Each year, his craftsmen would work for an entire year to create a special egg for the Tsar to present to his mother or his wife, sometimes both. Each egg was to have a surprise. It is said that he hand-delivered each egg, and his craftsmen would wait anxiously at the workshop all day for him to return and share the reaction that the Tsar and his family had to the egg.
Sadly, the Russian Revolution and the downfall of the Tsar and his family also spelled the end of the House of Fabergé.
It is believed that 50 Imperial eggs were created, but only 42 survived. It is on my life list to see all 42. Today, I saw 6. I am going to be keeping a notebook, and I have no idea how I am going to be able to see the eggs that are held in private collections. I just know that I am going to give it my best shot. I might not make it happen, but I will sure have fun trying! Who knows, maybe I’ll someday find in one of my thrift-store jaunts one of the 12 lost eggs!