Last update:
January 14th

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Name Scandinavian (or Quisling) Egg

Date 1899 - 1903

Provenance N/A

Made in St. Petersburg

Work-master Mikhail Perkhin

Marks N/A

Media gold

Size 7,4 cm tall

Techniques enamel

Kept in Svyaz' Vremyon Fund - Viktor Vekselberg collection - Moscow
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This Egg is made of translucent strawberry red, white and matte yellow enamel, red and green gold and suede for the yolk compartment fitting a naturalistically enameled gold hen, painted in shades of brown with touches of white and gray. Diamonds are use for the eyes of the little hen.

This Egg is one of a series of "hen and egg" creations by Fabergé of which some have survived. Best known is the 1898 Kelch Hen Egg which closely resembles this one, but for the fact that it lies on is side and is embellished with diamonds. Other naturally shaped Easter Eggs are the 1885 Imperial Hen Egg and the Lapis Lazuli Egg, the latter containing a crown in its yolk.

The Scandinavian (or Quisling) Egg was rediscovered in 1980 in an Oslo Bank safe among the effects of Maria Quisling (1900-1980), the widow of Vidkun Quisling (1887-1945). Vidkun was the son of Jon Quisling, a major in the Norwegian Army who served as Military Attaché in Saint Petersburg in 1918 and 1919, where he probably acquired this Egg.

Vidkun Quisling served as Minister of Defense in 1931-1933 in Norway and founded the Nasjonal Samling (National Unity) Party, which was in fact Fascist and very much anti-socialist, as well as anti-semitic. He became the leader of this outspokenly pro-German and anti-Semitic party and when Hitler's armies invaded Norway in 1940, he supported the Führer and even became Prime Minister in 1942.

The party was extremist, very small and not considered important, but when Germany invaded and the country's leadership escaped to exile in London, he proclaimed himself prime minister in a coup, to the surprise of the Norwegians and Germans alike. A nazi friendly Norwegian puppet prime minister at the helm was convenient for Hitler, so he ended up "minister-president" (a title only he has held). Quisling was and is almost universally despised in Norway, and only a tiny fraction of Norwegians were ever sympathetic to him or his cause. He was executed as a traitor not long after the German surrender.

Strangly enough, he was part of Fridtjof Nansens huge effort relieving the famine in the Soviet Union in the 1920s, and helped save many lives.

After the war in 1945, he was tried as a traitor and executed by firing squad. Nowadays the word "Quisling" means in the Norwegian and other European languages "traitor".


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