Last update:
October 25th

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Name Peacock Egg

Date 1908

Provenance Presented by Nicholas II to Dowager Empress Maria Fyodorovna

Made in St. Petersburg

Work-master Henrik Wigström - automaton by Semion Dorofeiev

Marks Fabergé in Cyrillic, 91, H. W., illegible kokoshnik

Media gold, silver, diamonds, rubies, rock crystal

Size 19 cm tall - 16,5 cm diameter - length of surprise 11 cm

Techniques enamel - automaton

Kept in Edouard & Maurice Sandoz Foundation, Lausanne, Switzerland
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eggThe Two Egg halves are each with a heavily chase silver-gilt rococo mount. Both engraved, one with the crowned monogram of Maria Fyodorovna and the other with the date, 1908.

The Peacock Egg is not often seen publicly. Only 5 times it was exhibited, the last time in 1992. In 2008 it was totally restaured by by Michel Parmigiani, of the watchmaker/restaurer firm Parmigiani Fleurier. Parmigiani's restoration enabled the automaton to work harmoniously once more: the peacock moves on its two legs, and fans out its tail feathers as it goes round. Retouching the enamel also brought back a forgotten shine.

inWithin the Egg, a mechanical gold enameled peacock sits in the branches of an engraved gold tree with flowers in enamel and precious stones. the peacock can be lifted from the tree and wound up. Placed on a flat surface, she struts proudly around, moving her head, spreads and closes her varicolored enamel tail from time to time.

The maker of the peacock, Dorofeiev, worked, including on the prototypes, three years to make it!

The concept for the Peacock Egg is derived from the famous 18th century Peacock Clock by James Cox, originally housed in the Winter Palace, now the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg. (source:

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