Ranking: The most expensive eggs in the world cost hundreds of millions of crowns

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A well-known Russian goldsmith from St. Petersburg, after whom they are named, produced 50 of them. Today, however, only 43 of them are known, the rest have been lost since their production between 1885 and 1916. We are talking about those, if not the most famous, then certainly the most valuable eggs ever – the Fabergé imperial eggs, which Peter Carl Fabergé made from precious stones, metals and luxury accessories for the Russian imperial family.

Gifts for wife and mother

The collection was started by the local famous jewelry company during the reign of Alexander III. with the help of his uncle Grand Duke Vladimir Alexandrovich as a mediator. The Russian Tsar ordered the first egg through him in 1885 as a gift for his wife, Empress Maria Fyodorovna, on the 20th anniversary of their engagement. Originally, the golden egg was supposed to contain a diamond ring, but it ended up hiding a ruby ​​necklace. And after the success of the gift, the monarch made it a tradition – every Easter he gave his wife another such jewel.

Tsar’s son Nicholas II. he continued his father’s custom – gifting his mother, but he also added his own wife Alexandra Fyodorovna. And every other Faberge imperial egg was different. The pace of two pieces per year was interrupted only during the Russo-Japanese War of 1904 to 1905, from which there are no records of any manufactured specimens.

And the prices? Back in 1983, for example, the Rose Trellis Egg, or Egg with a climbing rose, which the younger Russian heir to the throne gave to his wife in 1907, was sold for 500,000 dollars, which is the lowest price ever recorded. It gradually amounted to tens of millions of dollars. The editors of SZ Byznys below present a ranking of the seven most expensive, which can also be viewed in the introductory video of this article.

7. The Fifteenth Anniversary Egg

Fabergé’s imperial eggs were donated by Nicholas II for the 15th anniversary. to his wife in 1911. It is made of white, green and gold enamel and set with crystals and diamonds. Surprisingly, there are no surprises inside. On the shell, however, there are photos of the tsar’s family and places important to them. The estimated price is 12 to 15 million dollars.

Photo: Derren Hodson

The Fifteenth Anniversary Egg.

6. The Lilies of the Valley Egg

One of two Faberge pieces in Art Nouveau style. The lily-of-the-valley egg was given again by the younger Russian heir to his wife Alexandra Fyodorovna in 1898. It is decorated with pearls and covered in pink enamel. And from its base legs, flowers decorated with diamonds, rubies and again pearls climb up it. After turning one of the pearls, three portraits of Nicholas II emerge from it. and his two eldest daughters flanked by pink diamonds. The estimated price is 13 million dollars.

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Photo: Pedro Szekely

The Lilies of the Valley Egg.

5. The Bay Tree Egg

Laurel Fabergé’s imperial egg made of jade and expensive enamel surprisingly hides a song, which is activated by a miniature lever disguised as a fruit. This time it is a piece that Nicholas II. gifted to his mother in 1911. Originally cost 12,800 rubles, now estimated at $15 million.

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Photo: Wikimedia Commons

The Bay Tree Egg.

4. The Winter Egg

This piece was also given by a younger Russian successor as a gift to Maria Fyodorovna in 1913. The winter egg is designed to look like crystals are forming on the glass shell. It’s actually made of platinum, orthoclase, and quartz, and they’ve embedded 1,660 diamonds into it. Inside is a platinum and gold basket set with 1,378 diamonds, in which are anemones made of white quartz and rare green demantoid. Sold at auction in 2002 for $9.6 million, now estimated at $15.6 million.

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Photo: Christie’s

The Winter Egg.

3. The Imperial Coronation Egg

This Imperial Coronation Egg was to be produced by Mikhail Perchin and Henrik Wigström under Fabergé’s supervision in 1897 to commemorate the coronation of Empress Alexandra Feodorovna. They were inspired by the gold gown she wore, which is made of gold and yellow enamel and set with diamonds, surrounded by an intricate grid. Inside he then hides a coronation carriage with a miniature crown and six eagles. This replica has opening timbers, moving wheels, and even folding steps. Originally, however, a necklace with gems was also hidden in the piece. The value of the egg is around 18 million dollars.

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Photo: Wikimedia Commons

The Imperial Coronation Egg.

2. The Rothschild Clock Egg

Rothschild’s clock egg was also produced by Mikhail Perchin and this time by the watchmaker Nikolaj Rode, again according to the design and under the supervision of Peter Carl Fabergé, in 1902. And another rarity is that it was one of the few eggs that was not made for the Russian imperial family.

It was an engagement gift from Béatrice de Rothschild, from a famous family of wealthy Jewish financiers, to her fiance Édouard Alphonse James de Rothschild. It is of silver and gold and covered with diamonds and pearls, and every hour a diamond-encrusted rooster emerges from it, bowing and crowing time. In 2007, it broke several records at auction when it sold for £8.9m as the most expensive clockwork, an object from Russia and a Fabergé egg. Today it is estimated at more than 16, but probably as much as 25 million dollars.

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Photo: Wikimedia Commons

The Rothschild Clock Egg.

1. The Third Imperial Egg

Probably the most expensive Faberge imperial egg, unless collectors discover more. This was found in 2011 by a trinket dealer who at first had no idea what a treasure he had at home, so it sat on his fridge for several years before he realized it might be the missing specimen from an entire rare collection.

It was made in 1887 by August Holmström from the famous Russian jewelry workshop. It was a gift from Alexander II. to his wife Maria Fyodorovna. Designed in the style of King Louis XVI, it is an 18-karat gold box studded with sapphires and diamonds, which hides a luxury watch from the Swiss brand Vacheron Constantin in 14-karat gold with diamond hands. It is covered with a few scratches from how potential buyers used to verify the gold, but it adds a bit of history. The estimate of its value is around 33 million dollars, i.e. three-quarters of a billion crowns.

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Photo: Fabergé Museum

The Third Imperial Egg.

Where are the Fabergé eggs?

Most of the famous jewels are located in Russia. Ten of them are in the Kremlin Armory in Moscow and nine in the Fabergé Museum in St. Petersburg. Five of them are in the Museum of Fine Arts in Virginia, which is the largest collection in the USA. Three of them are in the Metropolitan Museum in New York and the Royal Collection Trust in London. One each, for example, in the Fabergé Museum in the German city of Baden-Baden and the Landesmuseum in Liechtenstein. The Winter Egg is said to be in the possession of the Emir of Qatar, as well as several other pieces.

The article is in Czech

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