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The Imperial Peter the Great Egg

It was Easter 1903 and Tsar Nicholas' gift to the Tsarina Alexandra was this lavish rococo celebration of Peter the Great, who founded the City of St. Petersburg 200 years before, and of Tsar Nicholas himself, for political and economic achievements during his reign.

The Egg is done in a heavily embellished, almost sculptured style, with sheaves of bulrushes representing the bogs and marshes upon which St. Petersburg was built, and roses and laurel leaves, the symbols of triumph and pride in Russia. There are four miniatures, each mounted on one side of the Egg.

Each miniature is framed in an elaborate cartouche of gold and diamonds:

  • A portrait of Peter the Great on one side of the egg;
  • A portrait of Nicholas II on another side;
  • On the front of the Egg, a miniature of the fabled 1000 room Winter Palace where Tsar Nicholas hosted elaborate balls and entertainments;
  • And on the back of the Egg, the log hut that was Peter's home, said to have been built with his own hands.

Clearly these two Tsars had quite different lifestyles. The dates 1903 and 1703 are on the lid of the Egg in diamonds, and Nicholas' Cyrillic monogram in diamonds circles the apex of the Egg. When the lid is raised it reveals a gilded bronze replica of the famous statue of Peter the Great that still stands on the shore of the Neva River in St. Petersburg. The massive monument by Falconet depicts Peter astride his mount. The statue was commissioned by Catherine The Great and unveiled in 1782. Circling the monument as it sits on the plinth is a tiny railing of gold chain. In our reproduction, of course, neither precious metals or gemstones are used.

Our price: $3000.00.

 

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