Maria Feodorovna cherished the egg so much so that Alexander III gave the House of Fabergé the title of ‘Goldsmith by special appointment to the Imperial Crown’. Peter Carl Fabergé was then commissioned to, every Easter, present a new unique egg with a surprise inside for the Royal household. This tradition was then continued by Nicholas II of Russia as he gave the eggs to his wife Alexandra Feodorovna and the widowed Maria Feodorovna.

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In 1918, Maria Feodorovna fled the country at the outbreak of the Russian Revolution. The eggs became lost and were forgotten about, some were even stolen. In the 1930's, fourteen eggs were sold by Josef Stalin in order to raise money. They were sold at western auction houses for amounts, which even in today's money, would have been an absolute bargain.

Today, there are 21 eggs left in Russia at the Kremlin Museums. In 2004, the world's second largest collection of Fabergé egg, was sold at auction. This collection ended up being sold privately to Russian gas and oil billionaire Viktor Vekselberg, which caused a great stir. Despite paying a considerable sum, Vekselberg considered the eggs to be invaluable and described them as one of the Russia's most important cultural treasures. Some of the eggs are on view today at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts and the New Orleans Museum of Art, as well as in private collections.

The Fabergé egg which was at Wartski in 2014 Image via Wartski The Fabergé egg which was at Wartski in 2014
Image via Wartski

An egg found in 2014 by a scrap metal collector at a flea market in the US went on display at London's Wartski, before going into a private collection. The egg was sold to an anonymous collector for $210 million. Where the remaining seven eggs are today is anybody's guess.

Fabergé eggs really are better than chocolate, well, almost...

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