Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Easter Egg

Picq, Césard and Guesdon for Cartier
Cartier (French, founded Paris, 1847)
Unknown Designer
Gold, diamonds, pearls, fluorite, enamel
With base: 4 9/16 × 2 1/2 × 2 1/2 in. (11.6 × 6.4 × 6.4 cm) Open: 4 1/4 × 2 1/2 × 3 in. (10.8 × 6.4 × 7.6 cm)
Credit Line:
Bequest of Laird Shields Goldsborough, 1951
Accession Number:
Not on view
This jeweled confection was based on similar designs (notably Easter eggs and a miniature replica of the Russian imperial regalia) by Fabergé that were shown at the Exposition Universelle in Paris in 1900. Generically regal in its iconography, the egg has a purple-enameled surface decorated with diamond palm leaves (both appropriate to the Easter motif), swags, and the cipher of the Russian czar Nicholas II. It rests atop a diamond-tasseled fluorite "cushion" balanced on a gold and purple-enameled plinth, and is surmounted with a diamond and pearl crown. The Paris City Council presented this egg as a gift to the czar in Moscow in 1912.
Inscription: Inscribed (on green enamel oval, in diamonds): [cipher of Nicholas II, Czar 1894-1917]

Marking: (Struck twice on rim of base and inner lip of flange of egg at opening): [Eagle's head in double outline: Paris mark for gold, restricted warranty, 1847 to present]
Chicago. Field Museum. "Cartier: 1900–1939," October 2, 1999–January 16, 2000.

Munich. Kunsthalle der Hypo-Kulturstiftung. "Fabergé und Cartier, Kaiserlich-Russische Hofjeweliere," November 24, 2003–February 25, 2004.

Cleveland Museum of Art. "Artistic Luxury: Fabergé Tiffany Lalique," October 19, 2008–January 18, 2009, no. 14.

Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. "Artistic Luxury: Fabergé Tiffany Lalique," February 7–May 31, 2009, no. 14.

Louis Carré. A Guide to Old French Plate. London, 1931, ill. p. 251 (eagle's head mark).

A. Kenneth Snowman. The Art of Carl Fabergé. London, 1952, p. 97, fig. 336, illustrates the "Tsarevich Egg," 1912, with similar miniature to the photograph in MMA work.

Géza von Habsburg-Lothringen and A. von Solodkoff. Fabergé: Court Jeweler to the Tsars. New York, 1979, fig. 117, state that this piece was delivered to Paris on May 12, 1918; suggest that it was made independently of Russian sources.

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