Art From An Army of Goldsmiths: Vienna’s Imperial Faberge Eggs

There’s something about Fabergé eggs – you must have them. At the same time, these delicate and sometimes ornate decorative pieces are extremely expensive. They have a rich history, and are consumed by an elaborate production process. Some of the best ones in the world are in Vienna, in fact, in the historic Kunsthistorisches Museum.

Pieces Of Interest

If you’re looking for excellent examples of Fabergé, look no further than Austria and Russia. It all started in 1885, when the Tsar Alexander III decided to give his wife the Empress Marie Fedorovna a jeweled egg as a 20th anniversary gift. Ever since that time, the fascination with beautifully decorated eggs has grown. In Vienna, you can view items like the solid gold model of the trans-Siberian Express, laid inside of an egg made by Fabergé.

Other interesting items on display are the Memory of Azov Egg – an egg whose surprise is a gold and platinum model of the famous Russian naval cruiser, the Pamiat Azova. There’s also the Kremlin egg of 1905. This egg is the largest Fabergé ever made.

Found on Invaluable.com
Found on Invaluable.com

 

The most wonderful thing about the Kremlin miniature is the glass plate through which the interior can be seen – windows in an egg. Can you imagine it?

These eggs typically take more than a year to construct, by a master jeweler, goldsmith, or artist. Many times, it takes a team of craftsmen – not just a single man or woman.

One of the most challenging eggs was the Coronation carriage. It took 15 months to complete, with a team of craftsmen working 16-hour days. The most expensive was the 1913 egg, which cost a staggering 24,600 roubles. Today, the egg would cost £1.87 million or over $3.1 million.

Fortunately, you don’t have to pay that much to get something this beautiful in your home.

Modern Fabergé Eggs and Ornaments

If you’re looking for something a little less extravagant, and a little more affordable, you can try getting replica eggs as Christmas tree ornaments. Some companies, like Ornament Shop.com, sell these types of ornaments as gifts and decoration for the holidays.

They may not be crafted by master Fabergé artists, but they also won’t kill your pocketbook. Usually, these pieces are made of plastic or ceramic, and occasionally they will be fashioned from glass.

That doesn’t mean they’re worthless, however. They’re usually high-quality construction, with antiqued features. And, you’re getting holiday-themed decorations. For example, one item from the collection is an antique teddy bear wearing an old-style hat and dress. Another is an old-fashioned Christmas stocking, stuffed with gifts.

These are usually reasonably priced at $20 or under, with some ornaments going for just $12.

Of course, you can always try making your own eggs by hollowing out an egg and decorating it yourself. This is done by piercing an egg and draining it. Once the egg has been drained, rinse it out by running water through it. When it’s clean, let it dry thoroughly.

Once the egg is dry, you can draw your favorite design on it or paint something. If you’re using a pencil, it’s best to use light pressure so you don’t puncture it. When you’re finished, spray it with clear enamel and let it dry.


Paula Harris enjoys discussing artforms with her students everyday. As a seasoned university art professor, she especially loves blogging about the skills and historical contributions of art across the world.


Heather Jones

I'm a coffee addict wife, "work at home mom", mother to two boys, blogging about the latest life hacks, recipes, DIY Projects and crazy "momisodes". I've recently moved domains, I used to blog at mommyonlyhas2hands.org, but our new home is right here on heartfullyheather.com

13 thoughts on “Art From An Army of Goldsmiths: Vienna’s Imperial Faberge Eggs

  1. I’ve never been one to really get excited about these. But I do love hearing the history of how they came to be known and so famous. They sure are gorgeous pieces of art, aren’t they!

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