How Do You Spot an Original Faberge Egg
The Faberge egg is the masterpiece of jewelry designer Peter Carl Faberge in the late 1800’s in Russia. This work of art became popular first in the Imperial family. When Faberge was hired by Alexander III to create a unique gift for his wife, Empress Fyodorovna. Faberge was a renowned jeweler at the time and so was a popular name for his quality and skill. Alexander III wanted something different, and Faberge gave him just that. Faberge designed an egg for the Emperor to give his wife. According to the Russian tradition of gifting eggs on Easter. With a surprise inside, making it more special than other eggs. Not to mention, the egg was made of and hid an expensive surprise.
The Hen Egg
This first egg became known as the Hen Egg. The Hen Egg was so named because of its design to resemble, well, a hen. The egg was unassumingly plain white on the outside, and once opened, revealed a yellow yolk inside. This yolk also opened to show a red hen sitting on a golden nest. Which in turn, opened to reveal the actual gift. A replica of the Imperial crown with a small ruby pendant laid across it. Faberge’s Hen Egg brings to mind the situation of “Which came first, the chicken or the egg?”. And costs millions of dollars in today’s market. Because of the amount of gold, precious gems, and marble used in the design.
Needless to say, the Empress loved it, and so did other members of the Imperial family. So much so, that they requested Faberge to create these original Faberge eggs for them as well. Which kept him busy from 1885-1917. Members of the Imperial family gave these gifts to each other. Eventually, the Faberge eggs became popular among ordinary civilians too. The original Faberge eggs quickly became a work of art that was enjoyed by people from all walks of life.
What’s so Special about Authentic Faberge Eggs?
One thing that makes the original Faberge egg so remarkable. Is the fact that many are practically dripping in precious jewels and gems. Faberge combined his love for precious stones and artistic eye perfectly when he created these egg. The result was egg-shaped gifts worthy of and desired by the nobles of the Imperial court. Many of his designs include diamonds, rubies, emeralds, and many more, totaling up to many millions of dollars today. Not only did he use an expensive material. Faberge used it in a way that highlighted and truly beautified his piece. The beauty of the egg didn’t come from its jewels; the jewels only enhanced the already exquisite overall design of the egg.
While the price of the original Faberge eggs is reason enough to be considered special. It’s the rarity of these eggs that makes them so hard to come by. Faberge passed away in 1920, but his eggs continued to captivate art lovers all over Russia. In his lifetime, he designed a total of 50 unique eggs. Unfortunately, the time around his death was a time of turmoil for Russia as well. With revolts and wars breaking out, many eggs were lost or destroyed as a result. Today, there are only 42 Faberge eggs whose whereabouts are accounted for. The others are considered lost to the world. Their elusiveness and historical significance make them even more coveted among artists, collectors, and general people alike.
Where to Buy an Authentic Faberge Egg and Cost
Because of its exclusivity, an authentic Faberge egg isn’t easy to find. Today, all of the genuine Faberge eggs for sale have already found homes in museums and private collections. It’s likely that if you’re currently purchasing a Faberge egg that claims to be authentic, it’s actually not. Unless you’re purchasing from a museum auction or a renowned private collection dealer, it’s almost impossible to find. But, if you have millions of dollars at your expense. You could easily track down private collectors to bid with them and have a shot at owning this treasure.
If you do happen to get in touch with other millionaire art collectors. The Faberge egg cost depends on how old the piece is and how many gems are embedded. In today’s market, a good starting point for any real Faberge egg for sale is at least $10 million dollars. That price is easily increasable depending on the age of the item. Plus, the collector would add some money to keep for himself. So, you’re looking at somewhere between $10-15 million dollars per piece. A small price to pay for authentic art and true millionaires…
Differences Between Original Faberge Eggs and Replicas
If you don’t have millions of dollars lying around. You can easily purchase a replica of a Faberge egg online or in some stores. These look strikingly similar to the authentic Faberge eggs but have a few key differences. The first difference is the price. Any genuine Faberge egg for sale will never be worth anything less than $5 million dollars. If it’s less than that, it’s probably not authentic.
The perfection of the Design
Another difference is in the actual design of the eggs. Because Faberge was very meticulous about enameling and perfected it across all of his work. Any egg that has less than perfect or splotchy enameling is likely a replica.
Similarly, the eggs that are over decorated with jewels are also not Faberge’s style. Remember, he used the gems to enhance what was there, not cover it up completely. If it has too many unnecessary gems, it’s likely fake.
Probably the most tell-tale sign of a copy of a Faberge egg is the focus of the piece. Symbols that weren’t around during Faberge’s lifetime in Russia, for example, an American flag. Are one of the most accurate ways to tell an original Faberge egg from a Faberge egg replica. Whether you want to buy a replica or an authentic version. Faberge’s eggs have come a long way, and their mix of art, history, and detail is sure to please everyone.