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Decorative Arts
Egg: gold, silver-gilt, diamonds, rubies, enamel, watercolor on ivory, rock crystal, Statue: gold, sapphire
Overall (egg): 4 3/4 h. × 3 1/8 diam. in. (12.1 × 7.9 cm)
Overall (miniature): 1 7/8 × 2 3/4 in. (4.8 × 7 cm)
Overall (stand): 3 1/16 × 2 3/4 in. (7.8 × 7 cm)
Group "Four Miniatures from Imperial Peter the Great Easter Egg" (47.20.371.1-4)
The Imperial Peter the Great Easter Egg was presented by Tsar Nicholas II to his wife, Empress Alexandra Feodorovna, in 1903. It commemorates the 200th anniversary of the founding of St. Petersburg by Tsar Peter the Great. The top of the egg bears the Cyrillic initials of Nicholas II and Alexandra Feodorovna. When it is opened, a replica of Étienne-Maurice Falconet’s famous statue of Tsar Peter the Great rises out of the egg.
Miniatures: “Peter the Great” miniature signed in Russian, right side: З. Зуавь for the court miniaturist Vasilii Zuiev (1870-after 1931); “Czar Nicholas II” miniature signed in Russian, left side: З. Зуавь for the court miniaturist Vasilii Zuiev (1870-after 1931)
Stamped K. Fabergé, initials of workmaster Mikhail Perkhin, assay mark of St. Petersburg 1899–1908, assay master Iakov Liapunov, 56 and 72 zolotnik; See: "signed" box in this TMS entry for the signatures of Zuiev on two painted miniatures
Inscribed on exterior: "The Emperor Nicholas II, born in 1868, came to the Throne in 1894; The Emporer Peter the Great, born in 1672, founded St. Petersburg in 1703; The first little house of Emperor Peter the Great in 1703; and The Winter Palace of His Imperial Majesty in 1903" Inscribed on sapphire: "To Peter the First from Catherine the Second, 1782--Petro Primo Catherina Secunda MDCCLXXXII" Miniature statue: inscribed Petro Primo / Catharina Secunda / MDCCLXXXII, written in Cyrillic on the other side.
Bequest of Lillian Thomas Pratt
Exhibitions: New York 1936 (no. 1326); Richmond 1948, 1954, 1983; Roanoke 1950; New York 1983 (no. 560, p. 147, ill. cover, p. 148); New York/San Francisco/Richmond/New Orleans/ Cleveland 1996/7 (cat. no. 152, pp. 162/3, ills. pp. 162/3); Richmond/Detroit/ Salem/ Montreal/Las Vegas/Oklahoma City/Beijing 2012–2016 (cat. no. 187, pp. 264–267, ills. pp. 264, 266/7); New York 2018 (ills. pp. 9, 24, no. 4).
(for these entries, see the Bibliography, Taschen, in the Bibliography section in the TMS entry).

2018: Collecting for the Commonwealth Preserving for the Nation, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, 1919-2018, Winter Antiques Show, Park Avenue Armory, New York City, NY, January 18 - 26, 2018.

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

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

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

Lowes, Will and Christel Ludewig McCanless. “Faberge Imperial Egg Chronology: A Progress Report.” Faberge Research Site Newsletter, Spring 2016. Last updated 03/38/2016.

Edwin Slipek, “Absolutely Fabergé,” Style Weekly, July 20, 2011, p. 26, color ill.

Ryo Yamaguchi, The Brilliant Jewelry Artists and History (Tokyo: Ink Incorporation, 2008) p. 66, color ill.

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

Natalia Semenova et al, Russia’s Masterpieces on the Block (Moscow: Trilistnik Publishers, 2000) pp.?, color ill. p. 48.

Peter Schaffer et al, Golden Years of Fabergé Drawings and Objects from the Wigström Workshop (New York: A La Vieille Russie in association with
Alain de Gourcuff Editeur, 2000) p. 147, color det., credits pp. 155, 172.

What Life Was Like in the Time of War and Peace Imperial Russian AD 1696-1917 (Alexandria, VA: Time Life Books, 1998) color details pp. 15, 59, 95, credit p. 137.

Betty Debnam, “Sign of the Season The Incredible Egg,” The Mini Page (Universal Press Syndicate, 1999) March 30, 1999, p. 1, b&w ill. p. 1.

Géza Von Habsburg, Fabergé Fantasies and Treasures (New York: Fabergé Co. in association with Universe Publishing, 1995) pp. 25, 26, plate 5, credit p. 78.

“Fabergé na América,” Casa & Jardim, Vol. XVIII, No. 213, December 1995, p. 36, ill. no. 5.

James S. Wamsley, “Fabergé the Fabulous,” Southern Accents, Vol. 19, No. 5, September-October 1996, pp. 130-134, ill. p. 132.

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

Tatiana Fabergé et al, The Fabergé Imperial Easter Eggs (London: Christie, Manson and Woods Ltd., 1997) pp. 10, 48, 49, 164-167, 245, cat. no. 28, color ills. pp. 165, 167.

“Fabergé na América,” Casa & Jardim, Vol. XVIII, No. 213, December 1995,
p. 36, ill. no. 5.

James S. Wamsley, “Fabergé the Fabulous,” Southern Accents, Vol. 19, No. 5, September-October 1996, pp. 130-134, ill. p. 132.

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

Stolifza et Usadba, April, 1916 (Russian Publication)

Helen Comstock, "Imperial Easter Egg by Faberge, 1903" Connoisseur 98, no. 423 (Nov. 1936), p. 284.

Art News, November 7, 1936. "Royal Red Cross Treasure", New York Sun, October 31, 1936, p. 17.

Henry C. Bainbridge, Peter Carl Faberge: Goldsmith and Jeweller to the Russian Imperial Court (New York and London: B.T. Batsford, 1949), pl. 50.

A. Kenneth Snowman, The Art of Carl Faberge, (London: Faber and Faber, 1953), illus., no. 311 betw. pp. 88-89.

Parker Lesley, Russian Imperial Jewels, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, 1960, Cat. no. 47, pp. 34-35, illus. p. 36.

"Fabulous Jewels by Faberge", Gems and Minerals, March 1961, pp. 16-18, illus., p. 16

A. Kenneth Snowman, The Art of Carl Faberge, Rev. ed. (London: Faber and Faber, 1962), pp. 93-94, p.

Parker Lesley, Faberge Cat., Virginia Museum, c. 1976, Cat. no. 47

Christopher Forbes, "Faberge Imperial Easter Eggs in American Collections," Antiques Magazine, Vol. CXV, no. 6, 1979, p. 1230, illus., p. 1231.

Marilyn Pfeifer Swezey, "In Celebration of a Bicentennial: Faberge's Imperial Easter Egg of 1903, "Arts in Virginia, 20, no., 3, (Spring 1980), pp. 23-31

Michael Demerest, "The Affable Elegance of Faberge," Time, May 2, 1983.

Faberge: A Loan Exhibition, exh. catalogue, A La Vielle Russie, New York, 1983, pp. 147-148, pl. 564.

Alexander von Solodkoff, ed., Masterpieces from the House of Faberge (New York: Abrams, 1984) p. 87.

Geza Von Hapsburg, Faberge, Hofjuwelier der Zaren, Hirmer Verlag, Munchen, 1986, p. 310, illus., p. 96.

Christopher Forbes, et. al. Faberge: The Imperial Eggs, New York, Neues Publishing Co., 1989, illus., fig. 12, p. 97.

Gerard HIll, ed., Faberge and the Russian Master Goldsmiths (New York: Hugh Lauter Levin Associates, 1989), p. 59, pls. 43, 44.

Faberge: The Imperial Eggs, exh. catalogue, San Diego Museum of Art; Armory Museum, State Museums of the Moscow Kremlin, 1989-90, p. 103, pl. 23.

Susanna Pfeffer, Faberge Eggs: Masterpieces from Czarist Russia (New York: Hugh Lauter Levin Assoc., Inc., 1990, pp. 42-43, illus., pp. 78-79, illus. (color) p. 79

Joseph R. Bliss, "Decorative Arts from Byzantium to Edwardian Europe", Antiques, VMFA issue, Aug. 1990, color pl. I, p. 270.

Judy Pomeranz, "The Genius of Faberge", Sky Magazine, February 1993, Delta Airlines, Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., 1993, Halsey Publishing Co./, pp. 28-33, 32, 34, illus. (color), p. 28.

Studio Classroom, magazine, April 1994, Taipei, Taiwan.

Geza von Hapsburg and Marina Lopata, Faberge: Imperial Jeweller (New York: Abrams, 1994), pp. 77-78, p. 78 (ill.)

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

David Park Curry, Faberge (Richmond: Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Museum/Museums of San Francisco (London: Thames & Hudson Ltd., 1996), pp. 162-163 (cat. 152);

Susan J. Rawles, "Intelligent Delight," Antiques, Jan/Feb 2018, p. 135, fig. 9;

Susan J. Rawles, Collecting for the Commonwealth. Preserving for the Nation, VMFA, 2018, pp. 9, 24, no. 4

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.