Catherine the Great
Fabergé Easter Egg
Gold, diamonds, pearls, opalescent enamel, opaque enamel, silver, platinum, mirror
Many Finns worked for the House of Fabergé. Henrik Wigström, born in Tammisaari, Fabergé’s last head workmaster, created this egg for Nicholas II to present to his mother, Maria Fedorovna, on Easter morning in 1914. According to a letter from Maria Fedorovna to her sister, Queen Alexandra of England, the surprise in this egg was a mechanical sedan chair, carried by two blackamoors, with Catherine the Great seated inside (it has now been lost). To feature Catherine the Great, who prided herself on being a patron of the arts and sciences, as part of the surprise is certainly in keeping with this elaborate egg’s style and imagery.
source: Hillwood Museum