Made by the House of Fabergé in 1899 for Varvara Bazenov Kelkh, then heiress to one of the largest fortunes in Russia. The Kelkhs ordered a total of 7 Eggs from Fabergé, more than anyone excepting the Tsars. The book, “The Fabergé Imperial Easter Egg” by Fabergé, Proler and Skurlov explains the then importance of the Kelkh acquisitions as follows: “Acquiring precious objects from the House of Fabergé was evidence of newly earned wealth and status, admitting industrialists and financiers into a world previously reserved for monarchs and titled aristocrats.”
The Egg consists of 12 enamel guilloché panels separated by gold ribs, some of which contain laurel leaves, others rose colored blooms, and laterally, individually set Austrian crystals. The white grounds are done in a starburst enamel guilloché and have fanciful designs in blue repeated in each panel. The apex and base of the Egg both have elaborate caps that feature table crystals surrounded by circles of crystals and gold. Beneath the large stone at the apex are the initials BK and at the base, 1899, the year the Egg was made.
Lined in matching velvet, the interior of the Egg reveals a pair of swans resting on a brilliant blue enamel guilloché lake, one swan completely pavéd in Austrian crystals and the other exquisitely chased in gold, every feather being visible. Their heads are turned to each other forming a heart. This elegant surprise, is, of course, removable for display. The Egg stands 5.75 inches high in the accompanying stand.
Our price: $2000.00.
Varvara Kelkh’s grandfather was founder of several huge Russian companies that owned railways, shipping lines, gold mines etcetera. When her grandfather died she and her mother inherited the family share of the holdings making them two of the wealthiest women in Russia. She married a penniless Russian nobleman and became titled through the marriage. He died less than 2 years later and, in keeping with a common practice of that period, she then married his younger brother and so retained the title. They rarely lived together, sometimes not even in the same city. Always she held control of her money and some years later, after living apart for the required 10 years they had their marriage annulled. During that period the Russo - Japanese War was ongoing and the first of the Russian Revolutions occurred, both events bringing disaster to her family businesses and her fortune. She left Russia moving to Paris in 1905 taking her by then sizable Faberge Egg Collection with her.