Yesterday, I posted an article on Royal Russia News about the Faberge: Legacy of Imperial Russia exhibit, which opened this week at the Heritage Museum in Hong Kong.
The exhibition, which runs until April 29th features 4 Imperial Easter Eggs made by the workshops of Karl Faberge. One that will arouse the interest of visitors will be the unfinished 1917 Blue Tsarevich Constellation Egg.
The Constellation Egg is one of 2 Easter eggs created by Faberge for Emperor Nicholas II in 1917. It was the last Imperial egg made by Faberge, becoming a symbol of the collapse of the Russian Empire.
The egg was never finished or presented to its intended recipient, the Empress Alexandra Feodorovna, due to the Russian Revolution of 1917 which brought an end to the Romanov dynasty and the monarchy.
The Constellation Egg, as is known from 1917 documents, was made of dark blue glass with an opaque crystal base. There are stars that are marked by rose-cut diamonds. The zodiac sign of Leo is engraved on the glass. The Heir to the Russian throne, the Tsarevich Alexei Nicholayevich (1904-1918) was a Leo, born on August 12 [O.S. July 30] 1904.
In recent years, this particular egg has been the subject of a dispute between two museums: the Fersman Mineralogical Museum in Moscow, and the Faberge Museum in Baden Baden, Germany.
In 2001, an unfinished egg was found at the Fersman Mineralogical Museum in Moscow. The clockwork and the dial were missing. Most experts believe it to be the unfinished 1917 egg by Faberge. This particular item is without diamonds, and this is the egg currently on display at the Hong Kong exhibition.
Russian millionaire Alexander Ivanov claims that he owns the original (and finished) egg. In 2003-2004 he said that he had acquired this egg in the 1990s and affirms that "the Fersman Museum erroneously continues to claim that it has the original egg. Some experts and their research clearly support the Alexander Ivanov egg as genuine." Fersman museum authorities, however, consider this as "nonsense" and "fake."
Most Faberge experts believe that the Ivanov egg is in fact a modern egg modelled after the unfinished 1917 original egg found in the Fersman Museum in 2001.
© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 08 February, 2013