Sotheby's - Auctions - Imperial
Treasures: Faberge from the Forbes Collection
Сотби - Аукционы - Императорские сокровища: Фаберже из коллекции Форбса
The Coronation Egg
A Faberge Imperial Easter Egg presented by Tsar Nicholas
II to his wife the Empress Alexandra Feodorovna at Easter 1897. Nicholas
loved the pomp and ritual of military life and Imperial ceremony, which
required him only to look good and say little. On May 9, 1896, Nicholas
and Alexandra were crowned in the Uspenski Cathedral in Moscow in one
of the most magnificent pageants in Russian history. Attended by over
seven thousand guests from around the world, including most of Europe's
royalty, the celebrations lasted for two weeks. To commemorate the event,
Faberge's Coronation egg (1897) was larger and more lavish than any before.
The surface was enameled primrose yellow in a field of starbursts. Trellised
with bands of laurel made of gold, each intersection was marked by Imperial
eagles bearing tiny diamonds on their chests. But the surprise inside
was an even greater achievement: a precise reproduction - under four inches
long - of the eighteenth-century coach that carried Alexandra to her coronation.
According to author Lynette Proler, "It was all done by hand and
crafted by hand in such minute detail - every detail from the state carriage
was included - from the little crown on the top of it in diamonds to the
windows in rock crystal. And the little steps... when the Empress would
alight from the carriage onto the steps, they would fall out of the carriage,
and in the little miniature they do the same. It took approximately fifteen
months to craft this carriage by hand working all day and well into the
night, seven days a week, and it was barely finished just in time to be
presented to the Empress." The original carriage was designed for
Nicholas' great-great-great-grandmother, Catherine the Great in 1793.
During the time it took to complete, master craftsman George Stein made
numerous clandestine visits to the imperial stables in order to perfectly
match his work to the original. The model mimics every moving part of
its prototype, right down to a working suspension. (Ironically, when the
Hermitage recently undertook to refurbish the original, Margaret Kelly,
Director of the Forbes Magazine Collection, provided them with detailed
photos of the Coronation egg from which to work.)
© 2004 Sothebys.com LLC www.sothebys.com
© 2004 Mr. Victor Vekselberg's Foundation
Был объявлен аукцион: Sale N07981 April 20-21, 2004.
Но аукционному дому Сотби сделали предложение,
от которого он не мог отказаться. О сенсационной продаже-покупке было
объявлено 4 февраля 2004 года.
Теперь всем нам предоставляется возможность полюбоваться
этой красотой. Надеюсь не только на фотографиях, но и в живую. Обещают
показать даже в Ижевске. Now the opportunity to admire is granted all
of us this beauty. I hope not only in photos, but also in alive. Promise
to show even in Izhevsk.