Last update:
July 24th
2004

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Name Clover Leaf Egg

Date 1902

Provenance Presented by Nicholas II to Czarina Alexandra Fyodorovna

Made in St. Petersburg

Work-master Michael Perkhin

Marks M.P, Y.L. (initials of inspector Yakov Lyapunov of St.Petersburg Standard Board), 56, kokoshnik

Media gold, platinum, diamonds, faceted rose rubies

Size 9,8 cm tall, with stand

Techniques gold filigree, translucent and opaque enamel

Kept in Kremlin Armoury Museum, Moscow
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eggThis simple pattern of stems and leaves of clover makes the shape of an egg. It seems to be woven of very tiny golden threads which span a very expressive picture. The gaps between the metal outline of leaves are covered with transparent bright green enamel. A very thin golden ribbon paved with rubies curls here or there through the rich foliage.

The transparent enamel was a new method in art. It was very difficult to create it. Usually the artist used a very steady alloy of enamel because having no support the enamel could crack while being fired or while cooling. You see how the work with enamel in this masterpiece is perfect. There are no bubbles or cracks in the enamel. This egg is considered one of the finest examples of the jeweler's art anywhere in the world.

inThe "surprise" of the egg had been lost but according to the archives four leaves with 23 diamonds and 4 portrait miniatures of the emperor's daughters (Olga, Tatyana, Maria and Anastasia) were fixed inside the egg. These leaves were the symbol of the happy marriage of Nicholas II and Alexandra Feodorovna. Little clips inside the Egg probably held the surprise in place, much like the 1914 Mosaic Egg.

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