Memory of Azov (Fabergé egg)
The Memory of Azov is a jewelled Easter egg made under the supervision of the Russian jeweller Peter Carl Fabergé in 1891 for Tsar Alexander III of Russia. It was presented by Alexander III as an Easter gift to the Tsarina Maria Feodorovna, it is held in the Kremlin Armoury Museum in Moscow. Carved from a solid piece of heliotrope jasper known as bloodstone, the Memory of Azov Egg is decorated in the Louis XV style with a superimposed gold pattern of rococo scrolls with brilliant diamonds and chased gold flowers; the broad flute gold bezel is set with two diamonds that complete the clasp. The egg's interior is lined with green velvet; the surprise contained within is a miniature replica of the Imperial Russian Navy cruiser Pamiat Azova, executed in red and yellow gold and platinum with small diamonds for windows, set on a piece of aquamarine representing the water. The name "Azov" appears on the ship's stern; the plate has a golden frame with a loop enabling the model to be removed from the egg.
The egg commemorates the voyage made by Tsarevitch Nicholas and Grand Duke George of Russia aboard the Pamiat Azova to the Far East in 1890. The trip was made after a suggestion by their parents to broaden the outlook of the future Tsar and his brother. At the time, Grand Duke George was suffering from tuberculosis, the voyage only exacerbated it. Tsarevitch Nicholas was the victim of an attempted assassination whilst in Japan and sustained a serious head wound. Although the Tsarina was presented with the egg before these events occurred, it was never one of her favourite eggs. Fabergé egg Egg decorating Faber, Toby. Faberge's Eggs: The Extraordinary Story of the Masterpieces That Outlived an Empire. Random House ISBN 1-4000-6550-X Forbes and Johann Georg Prinz von Hohenzollern. FABERGE. Prestel. ASIN B000YA9GOM Lowes, Will. Fabergé Eggs: A Retrospective Encyclopedia. Scarecrow Press ISBN 0-8108-3946-6 Snowman, A Kenneth. Carl Faberge: Goldsmith to the Imperial Court of Russia. Gramercy ISBN 0-517-40502-4 Description at wintraecken.nl 55°44′58.25″N 37°36′47.90″E
Egg decorating is the art or craft of decorating eggs. It is quite a popular art/craft form because of the attractive, oval shape of the egg. Any bird egg can be facilitated in this process, but most the larger and stronger the eggshell is, the more favoured it will be by decorators. Goose and hens' eggs are "blown" – a hole is made in each end and the contents are blown out; the egg is either carved, painted, appliqued or otherwise decorated. Egg decoration is popular in Eastern European countries; some eggs, like emu or ostrich eggs, are so large and strong that the shells may be carved without breaking. Decorations on emu eggs take advantage of the contrast in colours between the dark green mottled outside of the shell and the shell-underlay; the oldest eggshells, decorated with engraved hatched patterns, are dated for 60 000 years ago and were found at Diepkloof Rock Shelter in South Africa. Eastern European cultures, Slavic ones have a strong tradition of decorating eggs. Chicken and goose eggs are deocrated variously with batik dyeing, scratch-work, wax encaustic and carving.
The renowned Russian court artist and jeweller Peter Carl Fabergé made exquisitely decorated precious metal and gemstone eggs for the Romanovs. These Fabergé eggs resembled standard decorated eggs, but they were made from gold and precious stones; the Persian culture has a tradition of egg decorating, which takes place during the spring equinox. This time marks the Persian New Year, is referred to as Nowruz. Family members place them in a bowl, it is said. In Egypt, it is a tradition to decorate boiled eggs during Sham el-Nessim, a spring-ushering national holiday celebrated by Egyptians regardless of religion, which falls every year after the Eastern Christian Easter. Although some Orthodox Christian societies sometimes richly decorate their eggs at Easter, like the Ukrainian ones as shown, it is more normal to dye eggs red all over, using onion skins. Many modern egg artists decorate their "art eggs" by etching or carving, while others paint or cover their eggs with different materials, from paper and fabric to polymer clay and are painted in bright, spring colours.
Using eggs as a canvas has become so popular that special terms have developed with the art form. Egg artists have their own guild, the International Egg Art Guild, which promotes the craft of egg artistry. In the United States there are shows in many states where artists show their eggs and vendors of "egging" supplies can be found; each year, the White House chooses a decorated egg from each state to display at easter. Another type of egg decoration is egg shoeing, which requires goose eggs and miniature horse-shoes, made of iron or lead; the current world record of egg shoeing is 1119 shoes on a single ostrich egg. In Australia, emu eggs are carved and the art created by them is known as kalti paarti carving. Cascarones, hollowed eggs filled with confetti, from Mexico Kalti paarti carving, method of decorating emu eggs in Australia Egg decorating in Slavic culture Polish pisanka Croatian pisanica Ukrainian pysanka Czech Kraslice Easter egg Traditional games with decorated eggs Egg rolling Egg hunt Egg tapping
Maria Feodorovna (Dagmar of Denmark)
Maria Feodorovna, known before her marriage as Princess Dagmar of Denmark, was a Danish princess and Empress of Russia as spouse of Emperor Alexander III. She was the second daughter and fourth child of King Christian IX of Denmark and Louise of Hesse-Kassel, her eldest son became Emperor Nicholas II of Russia. She lived for ten years after he and his family were assassinated. Princess Marie Sophie Frederikke Dagmar was born at the Yellow Palace in Copenhagen, her father was Prince Christian of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg, a member of a impoverished princely cadet line. Her mother was Princess Louise of Hesse-Kassel, she was baptised as a Lutheran and named after her kinswoman Marie Sophie of Hesse-Kassel, Queen Dowager of Denmark as well as the medieval Danish queen, Dagmar of Bohemia. Her godmother was Queen Caroline Amalie of Denmark. Growing up, she was known by the name Dagmar. Most of her life, she was known as Maria Feodorovna, the name which she took when she converted to Orthodoxy before her 1866 marriage to the future Emperor Alexander III.
She was known within her family as "Minnie". In 1852 Dagmar's father became heir-presumptive to the throne of Denmark due to the succession rights of his wife Louise as niece of King Christian VIII. In 1853, he was given the title Prince of Denmark and he and his family were given an official summer residence, Bernstorff Palace. Dagmar's father became King of Denmark in 1863 upon the death of King Frederick VII. Due to the brilliant marital alliances of his children, he became known as the "Father-in-law of Europe." Dagmar's eldest brother would succeed his father as King Frederick VIII of Denmark. Her elder, favourite, Alexandra married Albert Edward, the Prince of Wales in March 1863. Alexandra, along with being queen consort of King Edward VII, was mother of George V of the United Kingdom, which helps to explain the striking resemblance between their sons Nicholas II and George V. Within months of Alexandra's marriage, Dagmar's second older brother, was elected as King George I of the Hellenes.
Her younger sister was Duchess of Cumberland. She had another younger brother, Valdemar. During her upbringing, together with her sister Alexandra, was given swimming lessons by the Swedish pioneer of swimming for women, Nancy Edberg; the rise of Slavophile ideology in the Russian Empire led Alexander II of Russia to search for a bride for the heir apparent, Tsarevich Nicholas Alexandrovich, in countries other than the German states that had traditionally provided consorts for the tsars. In 1864, Nicholas, or "Nixa" as he was known in his family, went to Denmark where he was betrothed to Dagmar. On 22 April 1865 he died from meningitis, his last wish was that Dagmar would marry his younger brother, the future Alexander III. Dagmar was distraught after her young fiancé's death, she was so heartbroken when she returned to her homeland that her relatives were worried about her health. She had become attached to Russia and thought of the huge, remote country, to have been her home; the disaster had brought her close to "Nixa's" parents, she received a letter from Alexander II in which the Emperor attempted to console her.
He told Dagmar in affectionate terms that he hoped she would still consider herself a member of their family. In June 1866, while on a visit to Copenhagen, the Tsarevich Alexander asked Dagmar for her hand, they had been in her room looking over photographs together. Dagmar left Copenhagen on 1 September 1866. Hans Christian Andersen, invited to tell stories to Dagmar and her siblings when they were children, was among the crowd which flocked to the quay in order to see her off; the writer remarked in his diary, "Yesterday, at the quay, while passing me by, she stopped and took me by the hand. My eyes were full of tears. What a poor child! Oh Lord, be kind and merciful to her! They say that there is a brilliant court in Saint Petersburg and the tsar's family is nice. Dagmar was warmly welcomed in Kronstadt by Grand Duke Constantine Nikolaevich of Russia and escorted to St. Petersburg, where she was greeted by her future mother-in-law and sister-in-law on 24 September. On the 29th, she made her formal entry in to the Russian capital dressed in a Russian national costume in blue and gold and traveled with the Empress to the Winter Palace where she was introduced to the Russian public on a balcony.
Catherine Radziwill described the occasion: ”rarely has a foreign princess been greeted with such enthusiasm… from the moment she set foot on Russian soil, succeeded in winning to herself all hearts. Her smile, the delightful way she had of bowing to the crowds…, laid the foundation of …popularity” She converted to Orthodoxy and became Grand Duchess Maria Feodorovna of Russia; the lavish wedding took place on 9 November 1866 in the Imperial Chapel of the Winter Palace in Saint Petersburg. Financial constraints had prevented her parents from attending the wedding, in their stead, they sent her brother, Crown Prince Frederick, her brother-in-law, the Prince of Wales, had travelled to Saint Petersburg for the ceremony.
Silver is a chemical element with symbol Ag and atomic number 47. A soft, lustrous transition metal, it exhibits the highest electrical conductivity, thermal conductivity, reflectivity of any metal; the metal is found in the Earth's crust in the pure, free elemental form, as an alloy with gold and other metals, in minerals such as argentite and chlorargyrite. Most silver is produced as a byproduct of copper, gold and zinc refining. Silver has long been valued as a precious metal. Silver metal is used in many bullion coins, sometimes alongside gold: while it is more abundant than gold, it is much less abundant as a native metal, its purity is measured on a per-mille basis. As one of the seven metals of antiquity, silver has had an enduring role in most human cultures. Other than in currency and as an investment medium, silver is used in solar panels, water filtration, ornaments, high-value tableware and utensils, in electrical contacts and conductors, in specialized mirrors, window coatings, in catalysis of chemical reactions, as a colorant in stained glass and in specialised confectionery.
Its compounds are used in X-ray film. Dilute solutions of silver nitrate and other silver compounds are used as disinfectants and microbiocides, added to bandages and wound-dressings and other medical instruments. Silver is similar in its physical and chemical properties to its two vertical neighbours in group 11 of the periodic table and gold, its 47 electrons are arranged in the configuration 4d105s1 to copper and gold. This distinctive electron configuration, with a single electron in the highest occupied s subshell over a filled d subshell, accounts for many of the singular properties of metallic silver. Silver is an soft and malleable transition metal, though it is less malleable than gold. Silver crystallizes in a face-centered cubic lattice with bulk coordination number 12, where only the single 5s electron is delocalized to copper and gold. Unlike metals with incomplete d-shells, metallic bonds in silver are lacking a covalent character and are weak; this observation explains the low high ductility of single crystals of silver.
Silver has a brilliant white metallic luster that can take a high polish, and, so characteristic that the name of the metal itself has become a colour name. Unlike copper and gold, the energy required to excite an electron from the filled d band to the s-p conduction band in silver is large enough that it no longer corresponds to absorption in the visible region of the spectrum, but rather in the ultraviolet. Protected silver has greater optical reflectivity than aluminium at all wavelengths longer than ~450 nm. At wavelengths shorter than 450 nm, silver's reflectivity is inferior to that of aluminium and drops to zero near 310 nm. High electrical and thermal conductivity is common to the elements in group 11, because their single s electron is free and does not interact with the filled d subshell, as such interactions lower electron mobility; the electrical conductivity of silver is the greatest of all metals, greater than copper, but it is not used for this property because of the higher cost.
An exception is in radio-frequency engineering at VHF and higher frequencies where silver plating improves electrical conductivity because those currents tend to flow on the surface of conductors rather than through the interior. During World War II in the US, 13540 tons of silver were used in electromagnets for enriching uranium because of the wartime shortage of copper. Pure silver has the highest thermal conductivity of any metal, although the conductivity of carbon and superfluid helium-4 are higher. Silver has the lowest contact resistance of any metal. Silver forms alloys with copper and gold, as well as zinc. Zinc-silver alloys with low zinc concentration may be considered as face-centred cubic solid solutions of zinc in silver, as the structure of the silver is unchanged while the electron concentration rises as more zinc is added. Increasing the electron concentration further leads to body-centred cubic, complex cubic, hexagonal close-packed phases. Occurring silver is composed of two stable isotopes, 107Ag and 109Ag, with 107Ag being more abundant.
This equal abundance is rare in the periodic table. The atomic weight is 107.8682 u. Both isotopes of silver are produced in stars via the s-process, as well as in supernovas via the r-process. Twenty-eight radioisotopes have been characterized, the most stable being 105Ag with a half-life of 41.29 days, 111Ag with a half-life of 7.45 days, 112Ag with a half-life of 3.13 hours. Silver has numerous nuclear isomers, the most stable being 108mAg, 110mAg and 106mAg. All of the remaining radioactive isotopes have half-lives of less than an hour, the majority of these have half-lives of less than three minutes. Isotopes of silver range in relative atomic mass from 92.950 u
Easter eggs called Paschal eggs, are decorated eggs that are used as gifts on the occasion of Easter. As such, Easter eggs are common during the season of Eastertide; the oldest tradition is to use dyed and painted chicken eggs, but a modern custom is to substitute chocolate eggs wrapped in colored foil, hand-carved wooden eggs, or plastic eggs filled with confectionery such as chocolate. However, real eggs continue to be used in Eastern European tradition. Although eggs, in general, were a traditional symbol of fertility and rebirth, in Christianity, for the celebration of Eastertide, Easter eggs symbolize the empty tomb of Jesus, from which Jesus resurrected. In addition, one ancient tradition was the staining of Easter eggs with the colour red "in memory of the blood of Christ, shed as at that time of his crucifixion." This custom of the Easter egg can be traced to early Christians of Mesopotamia, from there it spread into Russia and Siberia through the Orthodox Churches, into Europe through the Catholic and Protestant Churches.
This Christian use of eggs may have been influenced by practices in "pre-dynastic period in Egypt, as well as amid the early cultures of Mesopotamia and Crete". The practice of decorating eggshells in general is ancient, with decorated, engraved ostrich eggs found in Africa which are 60,000 years old. In the pre-dynastic period of Egypt and the early cultures of Mesopotamia and Crete, eggs were associated with death and rebirth, as well as with kingship, with decorated ostrich eggs, representations of ostrich eggs in gold and silver, were placed in graves of the ancient Sumerians and Egyptians as early as 5,000 years ago; these cultural relationships may have influenced early Christian and Islamic cultures in those areas, as well as through mercantile and political links from those areas around the Mediterranean. The Christian custom of Easter eggs started among the early Christians of Mesopotamia, who stained eggs with red colouring "in memory of the blood of Christ, shed at His crucifixion".
The Christian Church adopted the custom, regarding the eggs as a symbol of the resurrection of Jesus, with the Roman Ritual, the first edition of, published in 1610 but which has texts of much older date, containing among the Easter Blessings of Food, one for eggs, along with those for lamb and new produce. The blessing is for consumption rather than decorated. Lord, let the grace of your blessing + come upon these eggs, that they be healthful food for your faithful who eat them in thanksgiving for the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you forever and ever. Sociology professor Kenneth Thompson discusses the spread of the Easter egg throughout Christendom, writing that "use of eggs at Easter seems to have come from Persia into the Greek Christian Churches of Mesopotamia, thence to Russia and Siberia through the medium of Orthodox Christianity. From the Greek Church the custom was adopted by either the Roman Catholics or the Protestants and spread through Europe."
Both Thompson, as well as British orientalist Thomas Hyde state that in addition to dyeing the eggs red, the early Christians of Mesopotamia stained Easter eggs green and yellow. Influential 19th century folklorist and philologist Jacob Grimm speculates, in the second volume of his Deutsche Mythologie, that the folk custom of Easter eggs among the continental Germanic peoples may have stemmed from springtime festivities of a Germanic goddess known in Old English as Ēostre and known in Old High German as *Ostara: The heathen Easter had much in common with May-feast and the reception of spring in matter of bonfires. Through long ages there seem to have lingered among the people Easter-games so-called, which the church itself had to tolerate: I allude to the custom of Easter eggs, to the Easter tale which preachers told from the pulpit for the people's amusement, connecting it with Christian reminiscences. Although one of the Christian traditions are to use dyed or painted chicken eggs, a modern custom is to substitute chocolate eggs, or plastic eggs filled with candy such as jelly beans.
These eggs can be hidden for children to find on Easter morning, which may be left by the Easter Bunny. They may be put in a basket filled with real or artificial straw to resemble a bird's nest; the Easter egg tradition may have merged into the celebration of the end of the privations of Lent in the West. It was traditional to use up all of the household's eggs before Lent began. Eggs were forbidden during Lent as well as on other traditional fast days in Western Christianity. In Eastern Christianity, meat and dairy are all prohibited during the Lenten fast; this established the tradition of Pancake Day being celebrated on Shrove Tuesday. This day, the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday when Lent begins, is known as Mardi Gras, a French phrase which translates as "Fat Tuesday" to mark the last consumption of eggs and dairy before Lent begins. In the Orthodox Church, Great Lent begins on Clean Monday, rather than Wednesday, so the household's dairy products would be used up in the preceding week, called Cheesefare Week.
During Lent, since chickens would not stop producing eggs during this time, a larger than usual store might be available at the end of the fast. This surplus, if any, had to be eaten to prevent spoiling. With the coming of Easter, the eating of eggs resumes; some families cook a special meatloaf with eggs in it to be eaten with the Easter dinner. One would have been forced to ha
Peter Carl Fabergé
Peter Carl Fabergé known as Karl Gustavovich Fabergé, was a Russian jeweller best known for the famous Fabergé eggs made in the style of genuine Easter eggs, but using precious metals and gemstones rather than more mundane materials. He was the founder of the famous jewelry legacy House of Fabergé, he was born in Saint Petersburg, Russia, to the Baltic German jeweller Gustav Fabergé and his Danish wife Charlotte Jungstedt. Gustav Fabergé's paternal ancestors were Huguenots from La Bouteille, who fled from France after the revocation of the Edict of Nantes, first to Germany near Berlin in 1800 to the Pernau Baltic province of Livonia part of Russia, now Estonia; until he was 14 years old he went to the German St Anne School in Russia. In 1860 his father moved with his family to Germany, he left the House of Fabergé in Saint Petersburg in the hands of his business partner. Carl Fabergé undertook a course at the Dresden Arts and Crafts School. 1862 Agathon Fabergé, the Fabergés' second son, was born in Dresden, where he went to school as well.
In 1864, Peter Carl Fabergé embarked upon a Grand Tour of Europe at. He received tuition from respected goldsmiths in Germany and England, attended a course at Schloss's Commercial College in Paris, viewed the objects in the galleries of Europe's leading museums, his travel and study continued until 1872, when at the age of 26 he returned to St. Petersburg and married Augusta Julia Jacobs. 1874 saw the arrival of his first child, Eugene Fabergé and two years Agathon Fabergé was born. For the following 10 years, his father's trusted workmaster Hiskias Pendin acted as his mentor and tutor; the company was involved with cataloguing and restoring objects in the Hermitage during the 1870s. In 1881 the business moved to larger street-level premises at 16/18 Bolshaya Morskaya. Upon the death of Hiskias Pendin in 1882, Carl Fabergé took sole responsibility for running the company. Carl was awarded the title Master Goldsmith, which permitted him to use his own hallmark in addition to that of the firm. In 1885 his brother Agathon Fabergé joined the firm and became Carl Faberge's main assistant in the designing of jewelry.
Agathon who had Dresden. Carl and Agathon Fabergé Sr. were a sensation at the Pan-Russian Exhibition held in Moscow in 1882. Carl was awarded the St. Stanisias Medal. One of the Fabergé pieces displayed was a replica of a 4th-century BC gold bangle from the Scythian Treasure in the Hermitage; the Tsar, Alexander III, "Emperor and Autocrat of all the Russians", declared that he could not distinguish the Fabergé's work from the original and ordered that objects by the House of Fabergé should be displayed in the Hermitage as examples of superb contemporary Russian craftsmanship. The House of Fabergé with its range of jewels was now within the focus of Russia's Imperial Court; when Peter Carl took over the House, there was a move from producing jewellery in the then-fashionable French 18th century style to becoming artist-jewellers. Fabergé's production of the first so-called Fabergé egg, the Hen Egg, given as a gift from the Tsar to his wife Maria Fyodorovna on Orthodox Easter of 1885 so delighted her that on 1 May the Emperor assigned Fabergé the title Goldsmith by special appointment to the Imperial Crown of that year.
This meant that Fabergé now had full personal access to the important Hermitage Collection, where he was able to study and find inspiration for developing his unique personal style. Influenced by the jewelled bouquets created by the eighteenth century goldsmiths Jean-Jacques Duval and Jérémie Pauzié, Fabergé re-worked their ideas combining them with his accurate observations and his fascination for Japanese art; this resulted in a revival of the lost art of enameling and a focus on the setting of every single gemstone in a piece to its best visual advantage. Indeed, it was not unusual for Agathon to make ten or more wax models so that all possibilities could be exhausted before deciding on a final design. Shortly after Agathon joined the firm, the House introduced objects deluxe: gold bejewelled items embellished with enamel ranging from electric bell pushes to cigarette cases and including objects de fantaisie. In light of the Empress' response to receiving one of Fabergé's eggs on Easter, the Tsar soon commissioned the company to make an Easter egg as a gift for her every year thereafter.
The Tsar placed an order for another egg the following year. Beginning in 1887, the Tsar gave Carl Fabergé complete freedom with regard to egg designs, which became more and more elaborate. According to Fabergé Family tradition, not the Tsar knew what form they would take— the only stipulation was that each one should be unique and each should contain a surprise. Upon the death of Alexander III, his son, the next Tsar, Nicholas II, followed this tradition and expanded it by requesting that there be two eggs each year, one for his mother and one for his wife, Alexandra; these Easter gift eggs are today distinguished from the other jeweled eggs Fabergé ended up producing by their designation as "Imperial Easter eggs" or "Tsar Imperial Easter eggs". The tradition continued until the October Revolution when the entire Romanov dynasty was executed and the eggs and many other treasures were confiscated by the interim government; the two final eggs were paid for. Although today the House of Fabergé is famed for its Imperial Easter eggs, it made many more objects rangin
Rock Crystal (Fabergé egg)
The Rock Crystal Egg or Revolving Miniatures Egg is an Imperial Fabergé egg, one in a series of fifty-two jeweled eggs made under the supervision of Peter Carl Fabergé for the Russian Imperial family. It was created in 1896 for Empress Alexandra Fyodorovna; the egg resides in the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. The egg was created by Faberge's workmaster, Mikhail Evlampievich Perkhin with miniatures by Johannes Zehngraf It stands about 248 mm tall on its stand, with a diameter of 98 mm The outer shell is rock crystal banded with emerald-green enameled gold studded with diamonds. On the apex of the egg is a 27-carat Siberian emerald supported by an emerald-green enameled gold mount; this cabochon-style emerald is one of the largest gemstones Fabergé used in any of the Imperial eggs. The egg's base sits on a plinth of rock crystal; the base consists of a colorfully enameled gold double spheroid, circled twice with rose-cut diamonds. It has the monograms of the Tsarina, as the Princess Alix of Hesse-Darmstadt before her marriage, as Alexandra Fedorovna, Empress of Russia.
Each monogram is surmounted with a diamond crown of the respective royal house. These monograms form a continuous pattern around the base of the egg. Inside the rock crystal egg is a gold support holding twelve miniature paintings; the paintings are of the various residences that were significant to the Empress. Each location holds a special memory for Nicholas and Alexandra in the early days of their courtship, as they had just been married two years prior, in 1894; when the large cabochon emerald on the apex is depressed it engages a mechanism that rotates the miniatures inside the egg. A hook moves down and folds the framed pictures back, like the pages of a book, so two paintings can be seen at one time; each miniature is framed in gold with an emerald on the apex. The frames are attached to a central fluted gold shaft; the locations include: New Palace Darmstadt: The palace. Kranichstein, hunting château Kranichstein: A favorite summer residence of the Empress' youth. Balmoral Castle, Scotland: Childhood holiday destination of Alexandra's grandmother, Queen Victoria.
Veste Coburg, Coburg: The palace where Nicholas and Alexandra were engaged to be married, during the wedding of Alexandra's brother Ernie, Ernest Louis, Grand Duke of Hesse to Victoria Melita, Princess Victoria Melita of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha in 1894. Wolfsgarten, Hesse: Hunting lodge Alexandra's family visited as a child. Windsor Castle, near London, England: A residence of Queen Victoria where Alexandra visited as a child. Cathcart House, Harrogate, UK: Boarding House where Alexandra stayed while taking the baths in Harrogate and where she became godmother to the just born Allen twins. Schloss Rosenau, Coburg: A site Nicholas and Alexandra visited the day after their engagement. Osborne House, Isle of Wight: Site of Nicholas' visit to see Alexandra while they were engaged; the Winter Palace, St. Petersburg: The site of Nicholas and Alexandra's wedding. Anichkov Palace, St. Petersburg: Residence of Maria Feodorovna, where Alexandra spent her first year in Russia; the Alexander Palace, Tsarskoe Selo, near St. Petersburg: the Imperial family's favorite winter residence.
The egg was presented by Nicholas II to Alexandra Fedorovna on March 24, 1896. She received it at Eastertide in the same year that the young couple had ascended the throne. In 1909 the egg was housed in the Empress' study in the Winter Palace; the egg was seized by the Kerensky Provisional Government and moved to the Armory Palace of the Kremlin in Moscow along with 40 other eggs. In 1930, the Rock Crystal Egg was one of the ten Eggs sold by the Antikvariat to the Hammer Galleries in New York City for 8000 rubles, or $4000 U. S. In 1945 the egg became the last of five Imperial Easter Eggs bought by Lillian Thomas Pratt, the wife of a General Motors executive John Lee Pratt. Upon Lillian Thomas Pratt's death in 1947, the egg was willed to Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Virginia, it remains on view as part of the Virginia Museum of Fine Art's European Decorative Art collection. Virginia Museum of Fine Arts: Fabergé Mieks Fabergé Eggs