When just a chocolate egg for Easter simply won’t do!
On the occassion of Easter, Rolls-Royce released pictures of the Spirit of Ecstasy Fabergé Egg, a contemporary objet d’art created for a discerning collector of Rolls-Royce and Fabergé.
In 1885, Emperor Alexander III of Russia wanted to give his wife, Empress Maria Feodorovna, a truly memorable Easter gift and commissioned the celebrated Saint Petersburg jeweller House of Fabergé to create a spectacular jewelled egg. The firm obliged with an egg crafted from gold, with an opaque white enamelled shell that opened to reveal a yellow-gold yolk. This contained a golden hen, which in turn concealed a tiny diamond replica of the Imperial crown, from which a small ruby pendant was suspended.
A further nine eggs were made for Alexander and 40 for his successor Tsar Nicholas II. Many of them were lost and those that remain are among the most coveted and valuable objets d’art ever created. In 2014, the Third Imperial Fabergé Egg, dating from 1887, was sold at auction in London for a reputed $33 million.
In 2018, Fabergé and Rolls-Royce joined forces to produce a new, contemporary Imperial Egg on behalf of a patron of both luxury houses. Only the second object to be commissioned in the Imperial Class, the egg stands at 160mm high and weighs 400g, embodying the ‘surprise and delight’ attributes of the original Imperial Eggs.
The Egg rests on an engine-turned, hand-engraved, purple enamel guilloché base of 18-carat white gold. Arms of rose gold define the shape of the egg and operating a discreet lever at the base of the stand opens the shell to reveal a Spirit of Ecstasy figurine hand-sculpted in frosted rock crystal. The rose gold vanes, embellished with nearly 10 carats of round white diamonds, resolve into swathes of natural amethyst weighing over 390 carats, specially selected for its colour saturation and quality.
The operating mechanism, thought to be the most complicated ever created for a Fabergé Egg, blends the latest computer-aided design and micro-engineering technology with the traditional goldsmiths’ art.