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March 18th

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Name Blue Tsarevich Constellation Egg

Date 1917

Provenance Ordered by Nicholas II for Alexandra Fyodorovna, not finished and never presented to her

Made in St. Petersburg

Work-master Henrik Wigström

Marks N/A

Media gold, dark blue glass, probably silver (missing), opaque rock crystal, rose-cut diamonds

Size 29 cm tall - globe diameter 7,7 cm

Techniques N/A

Kept in Faberge's museum, Baden-Baden, Germany
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Click on the thumbnails to see a bigger image

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eggThis egg was made for Empress Alexandra for Easter 1917. The egg has the form of a sphere with a turning dial made out of dark blue glass with clockwork inside. It is encrusted with diamonds and a lion is engraved on it. The heir to the throne, Tsarevitch Alexei, was a Leo in the zodiac. The pedestal is made out of a whole crystal rock placed on a nephrite base. The egg corresponds completely to the original sketch made by Carl Fabergé. According to the sketch, a dark blue sphere engraved with diamonds is encircled with a gold dial plate; the sphere lies on the "clouds" that have been cut from a whole crystal rock placed on the nephrite platform. The only detail which is missing from the egg is five angels who are ascending the "clouds" towards the sphere. Probably this detail wasn't finished due to the start of the Revolution. And because of the Revolution, the Constellation Egg was never gifted to the Imperial family.

In 1999, the publication of drawings from the Wigström workshops alerted scholars to the fact that two eggs were designed for delivery in 1917. One, the "Constellation Egg" in the form of a celestial globe bearing the constellations present on the birth of the Tsarevitch Alexei, and the other, "The Birch Egg" crafted of Karelian Birch panels set in gold. Tatiana Fabergé released images of the drawings for these pieces, but, it was believed, the pieces were never finished.

The last, unfinished, Easter egg ever designed by Fabergé, the Blue Tsarevich Constellation Egg was found in 2001 at the Fersman Mineralogical Museum in Moscow. The Egg is made of dark blue glass and engraved with the star constellation of the day of the Tsarevich's birth. Lined with rose diamonds, it has has an opaque rock crystal base.

Only the clockwork and the dial itself were missing, as well as the lager part of the diamond stars. Reportedly the egg was in production for presentation to Alexandra Fyodorovna but was never finished due to the abdication of the Tsar prior to Easter 1917.

Agathon Fabergé, one of the sons of the jeweller Karl Fabergé, who was forced by the communist regime to work on the inventory of the Imperial treasures, sent a large quantity of jewellery stones to the Fersman Museum. He also presented angular stones from his collection, a splendid vase from rock crystal in the renaissance style, and the pieces of the last Easter egg to be created by the firm Fabergé. Curatorial records in the Archives of the Fersman Mineralogical Museum date the receipt of this gift in the year 1925.

inOn the night of 16-17 September 1917, a train arrived in Moscow, packed with valuable property of the former palace department in St. Petersburg. Boxes with treasures, which belonged to the Imperial Family, were delivered into the Moscow Kremlin. Among the treasures were the Easter Eggs of the firm Fabergé.

Many small masterpieces were exported from Russia and sold abroad. Of the Easter Eggs, only ten remained in Russia. The eleventh egg, the 1917 Blue Tsarevich Constellation Egg, which was thought to have disappeared, all this time was stored in the reserves of the Fersman Mineralogical Museum.

The right picture shows:
Nr. 1 Shown in an article from the Russian Embassy in Chile (
Nr. 2 Egg as exhibited in Munich (2003-2004) with the addition of a metal band
Nr. 3 Exhibited in Brussels (2005-2006) Note: Modern white band of Plexiglas, to preserve the glass halves, was added by specialists from State Scientific Research Institute of Restoration, Moscow
Nr. 4 Published in an article by The Art Newspaper (June 2005)

Fabergé experts have suggested egg nr. 4 may be a modern egg modelled after the unfinished 1917 original Fabergé Egg found in the Fersman Mineralogical Museum, Moscow.

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