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.
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
Our price: $3000.00.