Posted on Thursday, April 11th, 2019 at 1:57 pm by LaLonde Jewelers
It is close to Easter and there has always been a tradition in the regions of Russian and Baltic countries to give friends, neighbors, or loved ones, a decorated Easter Egg. These eggs would be made up as simply as a wood carving to lavishly decorated with gemstones and gold and everything in between.
The wooden ones might be gifted between peasant farmers while elaborate ones being gifted amongst the Nobility.
On or around 1885, Carl Fabergé created a jeweled egg known as the ‘Jeweled Hen’ or later called the ‘First Hen’. It was given to Tsar Alexander III and given to his wife Tsarina Maria Feodorovna. She so liked the egg that her husband commissioned Fabergé to make an egg every year after. His stipulation was that they had to be unique and have a surprise inside. This tradition carried on into Tsar Nicholas II’s rein until the overthrow of the Romanov dynasty in 1917.
Approximately 50 eggs were commissioned by the Tsar’s in this time.
Making the first egg by Fabergé studios was a brilliant feat. This not only figured into the commissioning of the Imperial Eggs, but it trickled down thru the nobility of Russian Society to even some lower classes. This decision by Fabergé kept his studios busy for years, making thousands of eggs of various sizes.
I have personally had the pleasure of appraising many eggs from the size of a baseball to the size of a robin’s egg.
One thing that did happen during the era of these Imperial Eggs was that when times were tough because of war or unrest, eggs were not made or were subdued to reflect the times. There were no Imperial eggs made in 1904, and 1905 because of this very reason. I have had clients tell me that they prefer not buying luxury items right now because our soldiers are fighting in Iraq or Afghanistan.
So, I got to thinking about the Christmas that just passed and driving thru my neighborhood and neighborhoods around the country. The display of Christmas lights at businesses and homes also reflect the times that our economy is enduring. Next Christmas season, when you look and reflect to past years, you too can be a barometer of how things are going in our world.
Written by Dan LaLonde, G.G., G.I.A.
Lalonde Jewelers & Gemologists
The Gem Expert
© LaLonde Jewelers 2019