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Where to See the Last Imperial Fabergé Eggs Around the World

Picture of Rachel Gould
Art & Design Editor
Updated: 7 April 2017
The Russian royal family took their Easter eggs more seriously than most. Easter was a time of jubilant celebration for the ill-fated clan who inspired some of history’s most exquisite examples of objet d’art. Imperial Easter eggs were exclusively commissioned by the Romanov royals, and expertly crafted by the House of Fabergé. Only 50 imperial Fabergé eggs were ever made, and 43 survive. Gaze upon some of the world’s finest luxury craftsmanship at these nine museums.
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Fabergé Museum

The Fabergé Museum holds the world’s largest collection of eponymous works. Crafting more than imperial eggs, the design house also created opulent jewelry and collectibles. Founded in 1842 by Gustav Fabergé, his son, Peter Carl, took over the business in 1872. Peter Carl’s “artistic taste and remarkable energy” landed the firm in the royal family’s good graces, and in 1885, Fabergé became the official Supplier of the Imperial Court. By 1890, Peter Carl was the Appraiser to the Cabinet of His Imperial Majesty. Located in Shuvalov Palace, the museum is as grand as its collection. It holds nine Fabergé eggs, including the Hen Egg, the first imperial Fabergé egg gifted to the Empress Maria Feodorovna by her husband Alexander III, and the magnificent Renaissance Egg, the last one the Empress would receive.

Fontanka river embankment, 21, St. Petersburg, Russia, 191023

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Royal Collection Trust

The British royal family has been collecting Fabergé objects since the days of King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra. While the jewelry house was lesser-known in the United States until the 1930s, European royal families had been exchanging Fabergé gifts since the late 1800s. Queen Alexandra was purportedly “one of Fabergé’s greatest supporters,” regularly exchanging their products as birthday and Christmas gifts. The King and Queen subsequently purchased three imperial Easter eggs, on view at the Royal Collection Trust in London: the magnificent Colonnade Egg Clock made with gold in four colors, platinum, and rose diamonds; the delicate Basket of Flowers Egg made from silver, gold, blue enamel, and diamonds; and the exquisite Mosaic Egg, made of intricate bits of gold, platinum, pink and clear diamonds, rubies, emeralds, sapphires, and moonstone.

Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace Road, London SW1A 1AA, United Kingdom

Imperial Peter the Great Egg | Courtesy of VMFA

Imperial Peter the Great Egg | Courtesy of VMFA

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Virginia Museum of Fine Arts

Richmond’s Virginia Museum of Fine Arts houses five of the 50 imperial eggs ever forged. In 1947, philanthropist Lillian Thomas Pratt donated her astounding collection of over 400 Russian artworks, 170 of which are pieces from the House of Fabergé. Pratt’s collection of Easter eggs includes the Imperial Peter the Great Easter Egg made of gold, platinum, diamonds, rubies, sapphires, crystal, and watercolor on ivory; the Imperial Rock Crystal Easter Egg made of rock crystal, gold, emeralds, diamonds, enamel, and watercolor on ivory; and the Imperial Red Cross Easter Egg made of gold, silver, mother of pearl, enamel and ivory, lined with velvet.

200 North Boulevard, Richmond, VA 23220

Imperial Red Cross Egg | Courtesy of VMFA

Imperial Red Cross Egg | Courtesy of VMFA

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Cleveland Museum of Art

The Cleveland Museum of Art houses one Fabergé egg: the Red Cross Triptych Egg. Made of gold, silver, enamel, and glass, the Red Cross Triptych Egg “honored the contributions of Tsarina Alexandra and her two eldest daughters, Olga and Tatiana, to the war effort as Red Cross Sisters of Mercy.” Inside the egg are miniature replicas of Olga’s and Tatiana’s patron saints.

11150 East Boulevard, Cleveland, OH 44106