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May
30

Cheap tickets to St. Petersburg-see those damn eggs!

Faberge Imperial Easter Egg 1911

Faberge Imperial Easter Egg 1911

As I turned on my computer this morning, I saw eggs. And not just any eggs but the eggs of the remarkable Carl Faberge.

Today is the birthday of Peter Carl Fabergé the creator of those bejeweled eggs that are so untouchable, so magical that most people have never seen them before.  But guess what? You can see them. This is absolutely the perfect time to book cheap tickets to St. Petersburg. The white nights, the art, the romance of this city is at its peak in June.

And you will see the eggs. The Museum of Peter Carl Faberge, housed in a refurbished exhibition hall in the western wing of the General Staff Building, will include works by Faberge and jewelry items from the Hermitage collection. Private collections will also be displayed.

The General Staff Building, on St. Petersburg's historic Palace Square

The General Staff Building, on St. Petersburg's historic Palace Square

The General Staff Building, on St. Petersburg’s historic Palace Square, was designed by Carlo Rossi and built in 1819-1829.

Another place to see the eggs is at the kremlin. We happen to have great deals on tickets to Moscow, so if you want to see Russia, now is the time. The weather couldn’t be better.

The exhibition Carl Faberge and Masters of Stone Carving, which opened in the Kremlin on April 8, will not only have the Easter eggs by Faberge,  but also works by gemstone carvers from the Urals who preceded and influenced him, and Cartier items made of precious and semi-precious stones. In other words, serious bling.

kremlin exhibit

kremlin exhibit

In fact there’s such an aura about them that it got me wondering: Why are they so incredibly expensive?

1. They are few.

diaghilev-faberge-egg

diaghilev-faberge-egg

Although the House of Fabergé made many eggs, Peter Carl Fabergé only made Imperial eggs for the Romanovs between 1885 — when he was first commissioned by Czar Alexander III to make an anniversary-gift Easter egg for his empress, Maria Fedorovna — and about 1916, at the dawn of the Russian Revolution. That first remarkable, enameled egg opened up to reveal a golden yolk and within that a gold hen that contained a ruby egg and a tiny crown.

It’s believed only about 50 or so Imperial Fabergé eggs were created — and of those, at least a half-dozen are believed lost. Book your cheap tickets to st. petersburg to see them in person.

2. The House of Fabergé transformed the art form.

check this out

check this out

Before Peter Carl Fabergé, such jewel-encrusted art was said to be valued for its precious stones alone, but Fabergé, the son of a goldsmith and the father of invention, changed all that. He was a meticulous man who transformed decorative art. His only orders from the father and son czars were to make each egg unique. Elevating his craft above the functional, Fabergé found inspiration in designing these royal surprises, with eggs that could include a ship, depict a family history like a miniature photo album or even a Resurrection.

3. The Gilded Age for the Gilded Egg.

tsar's opulence

tsar's opulence

The Imperial Fabergé eggs are special partly because of the historical period they represent. They were creatively hatched from a period of insane opu­lence — yet the egg also seems the perfect symbol for the ultimate fragility of the doomed dynasty. When you hop on your flights to St. Petersburg, you will see this incredible wealth and also see why they were so doomed.

Peter Carl Fabergé himself was forced to flee the Revolution, dying in Switzerland in 1920, with the toll of his escape to Lausanne apparently, in effect, a fatal flight. With the fall of the House of Fabergé, the famed jeweler was said to be heartbroken and he died shortly after his escape.

4. What the market — and “magic name” — will bear.

gilded age

gilded age

In recent years, as the Imperial eggs and other Fabergé artwork have newly become available, they’ve fetched staggering totals at auction.

In 2007, an enamel-and-gold Fabergé egg — held by the banking Rothschilds for at least a century — sold for a record $18.5-million in a Christie’s auction; that broke the record of $9.6-million paid for a Fabergé egg just five years earlier. There are so few, that when they do come up the collectors go crazy.

See one up close, they represent a time that was fleeting. Book a flight to St. Peterburg this summer and feel what this great city is like during the long summer nights.

the tsar

the tsar

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