Last update:
July 31st
2004

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Name Spring Flowers Egg or Wildflowers Egg

Date 1886 - 1896

Provenance N/A

Made in St. Petersburg

Work-master Michael Perkhin

Marks MP, 56, crossed anchor and sceptre, 44374

Media various color gold, platinum, diamonds, rock cristal, pearls, bowenite, white agate, velvet

Size 8,3 cm tall

Techniques enamel

Kept in Svyaz' Vremyon Fund - Viktor Vekselberg collection - Moscow
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Possibly made in 1890, its origin is uncertain. It is supposed that egg belonged to the Empress or to the Dowager, and was allegedly presented by it the relative or the close friend. This egg is smaller than the later, more opulent Faberge eggs. Crafted in the Louis XV style, the golden, engraved shell is enamelled strawberry-red over a giulloché (1) background, and encased in a rococo style golden cage. A band of rose diamonds encircles the egg from bottom to top, terminating in a diamond-set clasp. The base, of pale green bowenite, is also encircled with a band of rose diamonds and rests on a base of scrollwork executed in gold. It is attached to the egg by means of a short golden pedestal.

After eighty years of exile the collection has been returned home thanks to Russian businessman Viktor Vekselberg, Chairman of board of directors of Open Society "Sual-holding" who has purchased it from successors to Malcolm Forbes and has made it accessible to the Russian citizens. Sale of the Forbes' collection from Sotheby's auction in the beginning of 2004 could make objects channel off in separate collections and countries. Purchasing of the whole collection by V. Vekselberg before the advertised bidding has become unprecedented in auction practice.

Inside, the surprise is a platinum basket of spring flowers, 3,8 cm tall. The bouquet of windflowers, or wood anemones, was created with white chalcedony petals with demantoid garnet centers and engraved gold stems. The blossoms are accompanied by enamelled green petals. The basket is made of wrought platinum set with rose diamonds. It rests upon a small gold pedestal inside the egg. A quite similar basket was made for the 1913 egg - the Imperial Winter Egg.

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(1) Guilloche = a decorative design in which two or more curved lines or bands are interwoven, forming a series of spaces between them.

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