Books Educational
Decorative Arts
Gold, diamonds, enamel, pearls, watercolor on ivory, glass
Russia,St. Petersburg
Overall (egg): 4 1/8 × 2 1/8 in. (10.4 × 5.4 cm)
Overall (stand): 2 1/2 × 2 5/8 in. (6.4 × 6.7 cm)
Overall (four miniatures): 1 × 1 in. (2.5 × 2.5 cm)
Overall (two miniatures): 2 × 1 in. (5.1 × 2.5 cm)
Overall (two miniatures): 2 1/8 × 1 11/16 in. (5.4 × 4.29 cm)
Group "Eight Miniatures from Pelican Egg" (47.20.370.1-8)
The Imperial Pelican Easter Egg was presented by Tsar Nicholas II to his mother, Dowager Empress Maria Feodorovna, in 1898. The egg commemorates the 100th anniversary of the charities and educational institutions she directed, which were founded by an earlier Russian empress who also took the name Maria Feodorovna (Alexander I’s mother, who was born Sophie Dorothea of Württemberg, 1759–1828).
miniatures signed "Zehngraf"
initials of workmaster Mikhail Perkhin, assay mark of St. Petersburg before 1899, 56 zolotnik Stamped "Fabergé" According to an email from Kathy Gillis, former conservator of objects,dated June 29, 2011, she says: "based on the side with pictures - on the egg - going left to right: No notches found, but there appears to be a signature on the inside cavity; "IIIIIII" located at 2:30 on edge of bezel; "IIII" "IIII" very faint at 8:40 on interior cavity; "IIIIII" located at 2:00 on edge of bezel; No apparent mark on inside; "IIIII" located at 2:00 on edge of bezel; "IIII" @ 1:00 on flat back; "I" inside; "IIII" located at 2:00 on edge of bezel; "1" @ 7:00 on inside' "III" located at 4:00 on edge of bezel; "...." just shy of 3:00 on the inside; Didn't remove this bezel, it was adhered and I didn't want to force it; "I" located at 3:00 on edge of bezel; no apparent marks on the inside, but appears to have a signature on the inside cavity.
The egg is engraved with two Biblical quotations in Old Slavonic. To the left side of the pelican are the words: “Visit this vine,” (from Psalms 80: 14, King James Bible) which was the motto of the dowager empress’s institutes for the betterment of women. On the right are the words “Ye shall live also,” (from John 14:19, King James Bible) which was associated with her charities.
Bequest of Lillian Thomas Pratt
Exhibitions: St Petersburg 1902; Hammer Galleries catalogue, 1937 (p. 5, no. 4); Hammer Galleries catalogue 1939; Richmond 1947, 1948, 1954, 1983; Raleigh 1979 (no. 1); New York/San Francisco/ Richmond/ New Orleans/ Cleveland 1996/97 (cat. no. 150, pp. 158/9, ills. pp. 158/9); Richmond/ Detroit/ Salem/ Montreal/Las Vegas/Oklahoma City/Beijing 2012–2016 (cat. no. 188, pp. 268–275, ills. pp. 268–270, 272–275).

(for the full citations, above, see the "Bibliography - Taschen" under the Bibliography field in this TMS entry)

Fabergé Revealed, Palace Museum, Beijing, China, April 16 - July 17, 2016

Fabergé: Jeweler to the Tsars, Oklahoma City Museum of Art, June 20 – September 27, 2015

Fabergé Revealed, Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art, Las Vegas, Nevada, November 14, 2014 - May 25, 2015

Fabulous Fabergé, Jeweler to the Czars, Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, June 14 - October 12, 2014

Fabergé Revealed, Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, Massachusetts, June 22 - September 29, 2013

Fabergé: The Rise and Fall, Detroit Institute of Art, October 14, 2012 - January 21, 2013

Fabergé Revealed, VMFA, July 9, 2011 - October 2, 2011

Lillian Thomas Pratt Collection of Fabergé, coinciding with Fabergé in America, Metropolitan Museum of Art, February 12 - April 18, 1996, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, May 25 - July 28, 1996, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, August 24 - November 10, 1996, New Orleans Museum of Art, December 7, 1996 - February 8, 1997, Cleveland Museum of Art, March 12 - May 11, 1997

VMFA, Collector of the Year, February 6 - March 13, 1983

"Today Show", New York, March 26, 1968;

March 9, 1902. "Charity Exhibition of Faberge Artistic Objects, Old Miniatures, and Snuff Boxes," Von Dervis Mansion, St. Petersburg, Russia (unnumbered)
Lioubimova, Elena. “Императорское пасхальное яйцо с пеликаном Карла Фаберже: новое толкование надписей (Faberge Imperial Pelican Easter Egg: Inscription Reinterpreted),” in Экспертиза и атрибуция произведений искусства/ Материалы научной конференции (Expertise and Attribution of Works of Art: Materials of the XIX Scholars Research Conference ), 185-190. pp. 189-190 figs. 1-3 b&w ill.

Lioubimova, Elena. “Императорское пасхальное яйцо с пеликаном Карла Фаберже: новое толкование надписей (Faberge Imperial Pelican Easter Egg: Inscription Reinterpreted).” Собранiе (Sobranie) (No. 2, Nov. 2015), pp. 49-50, color ill.

“Story Tellers in New York: Fabergé by von Habsburg,” PAVONE Royal Celeb Style Vol. 15 [Japanese] color ill. p. 15

Ryo Yamaguchi, The Brilliant Jewelry Artists and History (Tokyo: Ink Incorporation, 2008) p. 67, color ill.

Dorota Jarowicz, “Bezcenne Jajko (Unusual Easter Eggs),” Twoj Dom Magazine Vol. 6, No. 6, April 2006, color ill. no. 2, p. 8.

Irene Austin-Gillis, “The Finest Easter Eggs of All,” The Woonsocket [R.I.] Call, Sunday, April 1, 2007, p. C1, color ill.

Alistair McAlpine and Cathy Giangrande, A Collector's Companion (London: Everyman Publishers, 2001) p. 249, color ill.

The President’s Table Mt. Vernon to Pennsylvania Avenue (Houston: Theta Charity Antiques Show, 1999) p. 32, color ill. p. 32, fig. 8.

Roy Proctor, “Fabergé Face Lift,” Richmond-Times Dispatch Sunday, July 18, 1999, p. H-1, color ill.

Tatiana Fabergé et al, The Fabergé Imperial Easter Eggs (London: Christie, Manson and Woods Ltd., 1997) pp. 10, 133-135, 242, cat. no. 17, color ills. pp. 133, 134.

A&E Biography: FABERGÉ documentary video (Studio City, CA: Weller Grossman Productions and the Arts and Entertainment Network, 1996).

Henry C. Bainbridge, Russian Imperial Easter Gifts: The Work of Carl Faberge. Connoisseur 393, (May 1934), pp. 299-306

Henry C. Bainbridge, Peter Carl Fagerge: Goldsmith and Jeweler to the Russian Imperial Court (New York and London: B.T. Batsford, 1949), pl. 66.

A. Kenneth Snowman, The Art of Carl Faberge, (London: Faber and Faber, 1953), illus., no. 298, 299, betw. pp. 80 & 81.

Parker Lesley, Russian Imperial Jewels, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, 1960, Cat. No. 49, pp. 35-36, illus., p. 38

A. Kenneth Snowman, The Art of Carl Faberge, Rev. ed. (London: Faber and Faber, 1962), pp. 87-88, pls. 330, 331.

Ross, Faberge from the Post Collection, p. 52.

Parker Lesley, Faberge Cat., Virginia Museum, C. 1976, Cat. No. 49, p. 40, illus. p. 37

Christopher Forbes, Faberge Imperial Easter Eggs in American Collections, Antiques Magazine, Vol. CXV, No. 6, 1979, p. 1231, illus., p. 1231

Alexander von Solodkoff, ed., Masterpieces from the House of Faberge (New York: Abrams, 1984) p. 75

Christopher Forbes, et. Al. Faberge: The Imperial Eggs, New York, Neues Publishing Co., 1989, illus., fig. 13, p. 98.

Gerard Hill, ed., Faberge and the Russian Master Goldsmiths (New York: Hugh Lauter Levin Associates, 1989), p. 57, pl. 33, 34.

Faberge: The Imperial Eggs, exh. Catalogue, San Diego Museum of Art; Armory Museum, State Museums of the Moscow Kremlin, 1989-90, p. 98, fig. 13

Susanna Pfeffer, Faberge Eggs: Masterpieces from Czarist Russia, New York, Hugh Lauter Levin Assoc., Inc., 1990, p. 98, illus. (color), p. 49, 51.

Marina N. Lopato, Faberge Eggs: re-dating from New Evidence, Apollo Magazine, vol. cxxxiii, no. 348, February 1991, Apollo Magazine Ltd., 1991, p. 91-94, illus. (color), p. 93.

Faberge Easter Eggs, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Lady’s Gallery, magazine, volume 1, issue 5, April/May 1994, Missouri, Bayhouse Publishing, 1994, pp. 46-47, illus., p. 46.

David Park Curry, Faberge (Richmond: Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, 1995), no. 2.

Geza von Hapsburg, Faberge in America, exh. Catalogue, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco (London: Thames & Hudson, Ltd., 1996), pp. 120-121; pp. 158-159 (cat. 150)

Tatiana Faberge et. al., The Faberge Imperial Easter Eggs (London: Christie, Manson and Woods Ltd., 1997) pp. 10, 133-135, 242, cat. no. 17, color illus. pp. 133, 134
Image released via Creative Commons CC-BY-NC

Lillian Thomas Pratt’s Fabergé: Shopping, Collecting, Remembering

This intimate documentary unveils the world-renowned Lillian Thomas Pratt Collection of Fabergé and Russian Decorative Arts at the VMFA through recollections of family members and others who share their experiences about Mrs. Pratt, the passionate collector, and the facts behind the fantasies.

Some object records are not complete and do not reflect VMFA's full and current knowledge. VMFA makes routine updates as records are reviewed and enhanced.