Faberge's Eggs : One Man's Masterpieces and the End of an Empire Paperback
by Toby Faber
This is the story of Faberge's Imperial Easter eggs -- of their maker, of the tsars who commissioned them, of the middlemen who sold them and of the collectors who fell in love with them.
It's a story of meticulous craftsmanship and unimaginable wealth, of lucky escapes and mysterious disappearances, and ultimately of greed, tragedy and devotion.
Moreover, it is a story that mirrors the history of twentieth-century Russia -- a satisfying arc that sees eggs made for the tsars, sold by Stalin, bought by Americans and now, finally, returned to post-communist Russia.
There is also an intriguing element of mystery surrounding the masterpieces.
Of the fifty 'Tsar Imperial' eggs known to have been made, eight are currently unaccounted for, providing endless scope for speculation and forgeries.
This is the first book to tell the complete history of the eggs, encompassing the love and opulence in which they were conceived, the war and revolution that scattered them, and the collectors who preserved them.
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 352 pages, Illustrations (some col.), ports. (some col.)
- Publisher: Pan Macmillan
- Publication Date: 06/03/2009
- Category: History of art & design styles: c 1800 to c 1900
- ISBN: 9780330440240
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Review by aadyer
An excellent, concise history of some of the famous pieces of jewellery of all time. The sections prior to the events of 1917 are really the best, with the revolution dealt with in frank, somewhat moving terms, with some non judgemental comments on some of the Bolshevik intellectual vandalism. After the Romanov's were killed, the stories become somewhat more murky and at times I found the trail of their ownership difficult to follow. Perhaps it's how my mind worked, but perhaps the subject could have been dealt with in graphical form at the start of each eggs story. How they ended up predominantly in the West is interesting but at times difficult to follow. A gratifying conclusion, particularly given that the eggs are now returning back to their native Russia. Recommended, with the caveat that the last quarter can be harder to follow