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Faberge's Eggs: The Extraordinary Story of the Masterpieces That Outlived An Empire - Toby Faber

Macmillan, 2008, Hardback in Dust Wrapper.
Condition: Good+ — in Good+ Dust Wrapper. Gently bruised at the head of the spine and the top corners of the boards with commensurate wear to the dust wrapper, a short closed tear to the head of the spine at the join. Edges of the text block lightly tanned. Text complete, clean and tight.

Illustrated by way of: Black & White Photographs; Colour Photographs; Genealogical Tables;

From the cover: “Between 1885 and 1916, Carl Fabergé made fifty fabulous jewelled eggs — Easter presents from Russia’s last two emperors to their wives. They have become the most famous surviving symbols of the Romanov Empire: supreme examples of the jeweller’s art, but, to some, the vulgar playthings of a decadent court on the brink of revolution. Every one of these masterpieces is a slice of history, with each telling its own remarkable story.

Commissioned to produce a different egg every year, Fabergé began a relentless search for novelty. It would see him exploiting, and extending, almost every jewellery technique and style available, creating eggs which reflected the lives and characters of the empresses who would receive them. Lavishly extravagant eggs commemorate public events that now seem little more than staging posts on the march to revolution. Others contrast the joie de vivre of the older tsarina, Marie Fedorovna, with her daughter-in-law Alexandra’s shy and domestic spirituality. The muted austerity of the final few eggs seems all too appropriate for a country fighting to survive in the First World War.

The abdication of the last tsar, Nicholas II, brought the sequence to an end. As he and his family were brutally massacred in a Siberian basement, the eggs disappeared, only to emerge years later in the storerooms of the Kremlin. Their subsequent history encompasses Bolsheviks and entrepreneurs, tycoons and heiresses, con-men and queens. Eggs have been sold and smuggled, stolen and forged. Now, as they return to Russia, bought by oligarchs, their history — like that of Russia itself — seems to have come full circle. Fabergé’s Eggs provides an engrossing, compelling and at times surprising window onto the empire these masterpieces outlived.”

Jacket designed by Steve Stone. Size: 9½" x 6¼". Black boards with Gilt titling to the Spine. 324 pages.

This one has already found a new owner.