The Victoria and Albert Museum Will Showcase a Long-Lost Fabergé Egg

Sackler Courtyard Gate, Victoria & Albert Museum, London, United Kingdom. Grant Smith/View Pictures/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

According to new reports, the Victoria & Albert Museum in London has announced that it has acquired the Third Imperial Egg, an object that was made for the Russian royal family by the Russian goldsmith Peter Carl Fabergé sometime between the late 19th and early 20th century. It’s estimated to be worth around $33 million. As such, the egg will be exhibited at the museum as part of the upcoming “Fabergé in London: Romance to dramatical change” show, which will also characterize other eggs and two human sculptures also made by Fabergé. These humanoid sculptures are particularly scarce within the Fabergé output, as he’s also thought to have produced fewer than 50 within his lifetime.

Overall, the exhibition will act as a showcase for the Fabergé methodology when it comes to design and his patronage. The jeweler produced a series of famous eggs that became so ubiquitous, they were forever married to his name. Additionally, the exhibition will show how Fabergé’s business expanded from Russia to London, where he was able to find helpful patrons in the form of Edward VII and Queen Alexandra. Fabergé also ultimately modificated his creations to better suit tastes in the U.K. For King Edward and Queen Alexandra, he produced hardstone recreations of the farm animals that the royals cared for at Sandringham.

However, the main thrust of the exhibition will revolve around the Imperial Eggs, including the Dormition Cathedral-inspired Moscow Kremlin Egg, the Alexander Palace Egg and the Tercentenary Egg; the latter was produced to commemorate the 300-year existence of the Romanov dynasty. The lore surrounding the Imperial Eggs has only expanded since they were produced, and Fabergé’s influence hasn’t reduced at all over the years. “The story of Carl Fabergé, the mythical Russian Imperial goldsmith, is one of supreme luxury and unsurpassed craftsmanship,” Kieran McCarthy and Hanne Faurby, the curators of the exhibition, said in a statement. “by Fabergé’s creations the exhibition will analyze timeless stories of love, friendship and unashamed social climbing.”

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