“Trans-Siberian Railway” Egg
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).