You may have heard the word “Faberge” before, but did you know that the name belonged to one of the most famous Russian jewellers that ever lived? Peter Carl Faberge is the sole supervisor that oversaw the design and manufacturing of the Faberge eggs, a collection of “Imperial” easter eggs that were built with gemstones and precious metals. They were given as Easter gifts to Russian royalty when celebrating important events, and only 43 of the 50 are confirmed to have survived.
Majestic Easter Eggs With Special Surprises
Since they’re Easter eggs, they also contain a little surprise inside of them, much like their chocolate counterparts. For example, the very first Imperial Faberge egg, the Hen Egg, contained a “yolk” that was made from gold. Inside the yolk was a small golden hen, and inside of that there were two small gifts; a diamond model of the royal crown and a small ruby egg pendant that could be used as a necklace.
Unfortunately, the two gifts inside the Hen Egg have been lost. This is a recurring theme for many of the Imperial eggs because they were considered Easter eggs and their inner surprises were meant to be kept by the recipient.
Faberge Eggs Can Be Worth Millions
One recent example of just how expensive a Faberge egg can get was back in 2014, where an American man attempted to melt down some “scrap metal” that he had acquired. In reality, the item turned out to be The Third Imperial, a Faberge Egg that was designed and manufactured back in 1887. Its surprise was a 14K gold Vacheron Constantin Lady’s watch.
Since 1964, the egg traded hands several times in the United States for anywhere between $2,000 USD to $13,300 USD but was eventually sold to a private collector at auction in 2014 for around £20 million British pounds.
Faberge Eggs Are No Longer Created
The rarity of Faberge Eggs is what makes them such desirable objects. Since Imperial Eggs must be commissioned by the Russian royal family, anything created by Faberge today, such as their 2017 “Pearl” Faberge Egg, is not officially one of the Imperial eggs. Although spectacular in its own right, the Pearl is an “Imperial Class” egg and not an official Imperial Egg.
The last official Imperial Egg was the Constellation, an unfinished Imperial Egg that was never presented to its recipient due to the Russian Revolution of 1917. Unfortunately, there are currently two eggs that have claims to be the Constellation Egg, causing confusion among collectors.
So if you ever see Faberge eggs at auction, you’ll know that their value can easily exceed millions depending on their condition and if the inner “surprise” is still intact. With only 43 of the 50 Imperial eggs remaining, they have become objects of immense desire and people will pay almost any price just to get their hands on them in their private collections. Although Faberge may take advantage of marketing by harkening back to their heritage, there can only ever be 50 official Imperial Faberge Eggs.
At Boningtons, we are delighted to have featured Faberge Eggs in our Auctions, find out which lots are featuring at our current sales.