Faberge eggs are highly prized Easter eggs created between 1885 to 1917 by the luxurious jewelry company, House of Faberge. Out of the 69 eggs the firm produced, 52 were exclusively manufactured for the Russian Empire’s family, particularly for Alexander III and Nicholas II. You may also know them by the name “Imperial Easter Eggs.” Each piece has a surprise inside it. One of the notable eggs in the collection is the Red Cross Egg with Triptych. This piece is characterized by its white shell and red cross ornaments. The enamel coating has a fish-scale-like texture that reflects light, creating a luxurious effect despite having a simple design.
Origins of Red Cross Egg with Triptych
The Red Cross Egg with Triptych was a present from Nicholas II to his wife, Empress Alexandra Fyodorovna. He gave it to her on Easter 1915. This real Faberge egg features a solid white enamel shell with two translucent red cross ornaments on each side. In the center of each cross, you can see a portrait of the two tsar’s daughters, Grand Duchess Olga, and Grand Duchess Tatiana, respectively.
Both are wearing Red Cross uniforms. This egg opens vertically with the portrait of Tatiana being the clasp. It has a double-door mechanic.
When opened, it reveals a triptych of three miniature paintings. The left-wing side of the triptych is an icon of Saint Olga. She was a regent who founded Christianity in Russia. On the right-wing side, there is another icon of Saint Tatiana, the 3rd-century Christian martyr. In the center of the triptych, you can see a scene of the Resurrection of Christ.
This piece has a height of 3.39 in and a width of 2.50 in (8.6 cm x 6.35 cm). White, red, gold, and silver enamel and glass make up most of its materials.
Who Created the Red Cross Egg?
Henrik Wigström created and delivered this egg to Nicholas II of Russia in 1915. He was a work master for the House of Faberge who was also in charge of other Imperial easter eggs, accessories, and jewelry. Meanwhile, Vasilii Zuiev was the one who painted the triptych and portraits of Grand Duchess Olga and Grand Duchess Tatiana. He was a court painter at that time.
House of Faberge was well-known for producing luxurious accessories and jewelry. Its customers consisted of the wealthy elite and aristocrats. The firm was based in Saint Petersburg, but later opened branches in Moscow, London, Kyiv, and Odesa.
Starting in 1885, the company got annual exclusive orders of Easter eggs from the tsars who presented them as gifts to their wives. As the owner of the House of Faberge, Peter Carl Fabergé supervised every piece of precious items for the royal family.
Impact of the Red Cross Egg with Triptych on the Faberge Field
Compared to other Faberge eggs, the Red Cross Egg with Triptych has a significantly more modest design. It was intended to honor the Russian Red Cross during WWI. The paintings of Grand Duchess Olga and Grand Duchess Tatiana represent this tribute. Its straightforward design also depicts the somber mood and austerity of Russia at that time.
The Red Cross Egg with Triptych has a unique feature. It is one of the very few Faberge eggs that can open vertically. Another one that does this is the Winter Egg in 1913. The egg is also smaller than most Imperial Easter Eggs.
Where Can You Find the Egg Today?
After the Russian empire collapsed, the original Faberge egg along with other tsar family treasures were confiscated and kept in the Kremlin Armoury. Then under the government of Joseph Stalin, the eggs were sold to raise the currency value. The State Repository Commission estimated that the Red Cross with Triptych was worth 125 rubles.
Armand Hammer purchased the egg back in 1930 for $250. Later, India Early Minshall retrieved it in 1943. She handed it over to the Cleveland Museum of Art in 1965. The museum still keeps the egg now. You can visit the museum in Ohio, United States. However, it is not currently on display.
How Do You Get One of Them?
The real Faberge egg is worth millions of dollars now. To obtain one of them, you need to be extremely wealthy. If you want to experience the allure of an authentic Faberge egg, why not purchase a replica that looks like the authentic ones? You can visit our site’s store page to buy one for your collection or as a gift.
My name is Sasha, I’m a father of two. Work in the tech industry. For fun I am running a small business in addition to that, sometimes I write and edit content regarding topics that interest me like: entertainment, tech, finance and art.