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.
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.
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.
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.