This incredibly exquisite and complex Egg. Made by Faberge in 1998. In excellent condition, with newer fitted gift box. Manhut on elephant head missg.Overall dark cream enameling in excellent condition.
The history of the original egg:
In 1902 the Dowager Empress Maria Fedorovna, born a Danish Princess - the daughter of king Christian IX - returned to Denmark for the 50th Anniversary of her father's accession to the throne. The Egg that Tsar Nicholas presented to his Mother as her Easter gift in 1903 was a commemoration of that event.
The Dowager Empress was the recipient of 30 of the 50 Imperial Eggs that are known to have been made. Of her collection of 30, 8 are known to be missing. Of those 8, 5 disappeared during the looting of her residences, the Anichkov and Gatchina Palaces, and 3 were transferred to the Kremlin for safe storage by the Bolshevik government. Those 3 also disappeared. So much for safety under the Bolsheviks!
This Egg is one of the 8 that disappeared and it has been made by the current Fabergé company from drawings and other information in the collection of Tatiana Fabergé. Amongst this information is a description of the Egg written by H.C. Bainbridge, the manager of the Fabergé-owned shop in London. His description was published by "The Connoisseur" magazine in June 1934:
"Miniatures of the late King of Denmark and his Queen are framed as the surprise feature in the Imperial egg. The outer surface is in light blue and white enamel with ornaments in gold and precious stones. On the top are the armorial bearings of the Danish Royal Family, and it is supported by Danish heraldic lions."
The Egg on its pedestal stand is over 9 inches in height, one of the largest that Fabergé made. It is crowned by the symbol of Denmark's ancient Order of the Elephant. Thought to have been founded by King Knut IV in the 12th century, the order was reestablished by King Christian I in 1464. When Britain's Prince of Wales - the future King Edward IIV - married Denmark's Princess Alexandra - daughter of King Christian IX - the Order of the Elephant was awarded to several members of the British royal family. In Denmark it was the symbol of absolute rule. The icon was a castle on the back of an elephant. It is interesting to note that this symbol was so successful for Fabergé that it was incorporated into many other objects d'art made by the workshops.