“The Moscow Kremlin" Egg
Presented by Emperor Nicholas II to his wife, Alexandra Feodorovna, at Easter 1906; Saint Petersburg, between 1904 and 1906 House of C. Fabergé Gold, silver, onyx, glass, glimmer, enamel of guilloche ground, enamel paint, oil paint h. 36.1 cm (incl. base), base: 18.5 x 18.5 cm “The Moscow Kremlin” egg commemorates the Imperial family’s visit to Moscow in 1903. Nicholas II, his wife and his children spent the two weeks before and after Easter in Russia’s venerable old capital, the former residence of the Tsar; this visit was regarded as an important and momentous event by all Russians in general and the Muscovites, in particular. After the tragedy that had occurred on the Khodynka Field in 1896, when more than a thousand people were squashed to death during the festivities to celebrate their coronation, Nicholas II and his wife, Empress Alexandra Feodorovna, avoided visiting Moscow, the old Russian capital, which brought back painful memories of this tragedy. This is why Muscovites regarded the willingness of the Imperial couple to celebrate the most important holiday in the Orthodox calendar in Moscow as a symbol of reconciliation with them and their city. In this exceptional Easter egg Fabergé’s artists depicted the Moscow Kremlin. The egg is covered with translucent enamel and surmounted by a polished gold cupola that recalls the Dormition Cathedral, where the Russian Emperors were crowned. If you look through one of the glass windows you can even make out its lit interior as well as the iconostasis, the Tsar’s seat, and the massive columns with frescos at the front. The egg’s base is constructed of red gold and depicts – twice the Kremlin’s Spasskaya Tower and Taynitskaya Tower that were connected with walls and bizarre phantasy lattice work. The gold base houses a gold music box that plays two cherubim chants – traditional Easter hymns by the composer A.D. Kastalsky.