“Trans-Siberian Rail­way” Egg

Adorn - - MUSEUM TOUR -

Pre­sented by Em­peror Ni­cholas II to his wife, Alexan­dra Feodor­ovna, at Easter 1900 Saint Peters­burg, 1900 House of C. Fabergé, Artist: M. Perkhin Gold, plat­inum, partly-gilt sil­ver, rose-cut di­a­monds, ruby, onyx, crys­tal glass, wood, silk, vel­vet, enamel on guil­loché ground, fili­gree enamel egg: h. 26 cm, train: l. 39.8 cm, wagon: h. 2.6 cm This egg refers to one of the most im­por­tant achieve­ments of the reigns of Em­per­ors Alexan­der III and Ni­cholas II: the Trans-Siberian Rail­way that con­nected the Euro­pean and Asian parts of the vast coun­try. The egg it­self is dec­o­rated with an en­graved map of the Rus­sian em­pire and the route of the Trans-Siberian Rail­way. The in­scrip­tion reads “The great Siberian Rail­way around 1900”. The sur­prise con­tained in the egg is a minia­ture work­ing model of a train of the Trans-Siberian Rail­way. An in­tri­cate mech­a­nism sets the gold and plat­inum train in mo­tion, and it runs for sev­eral me­tres be­fore it stops again. The train com­prises a steam en­gine with a ruby lantern and bril­liant head­lights, and five carriages with rock-crys­tal win­dows. The carriages have in­scrip­tions that can be de­ci­phered with the help of a mag­ni­fy­ing glass. The first car­riage is in­scribed with “Di­rect Con­nec­tion to Siberia”, the sec­ond, third and fourth re­spec­tively with “Ladies”, “Smok­ers” and “Non-Smok­ers”; in ad­di­tion, the carriages are marked 1st or 2nd class and give the num­ber of avail­able seats (18 and 24).

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