And the Oscar goes to ...
My Fabergé friend Juan insisted I should make a page about the Fabergé Egg featuring in movies. Now that I finally did, I really like it and I think it is a nice contribution to the role of the Fabergé Egg in today's world.
There are documentaries about Fabergé and his world-famous eggs, but there are movies too in which the Fabergé Egg itself plays a role. I couldn't come up with more than the James Bond movie "Octopussy" and the movie "Ocean's Twelve", but Juan helped with a list of movies and what he found was simply magnificent! For hours and hours I sat glued to my monitor to read about movies, watch YouTube, and make screenshots of the eggs.
A quick and simple summary of what we found:
The 1897 Fabergé Imperial Coronation Egg is the egg featured most often. There is a nice Coronation Egg in Warner Brothers' 2004 Ocean's Twelve, a green Coronation Egg in the the 1983 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer/United Artists Octopussy James Bond movie and another Coronation Egg in What's the Worst that Could Happen.
Other Eggs we found are a brownish Pansy Egg, a sort of a Caucasus Egg, a Swan Egg, a not so very wintery Winter Egg, a missing Egg (!), an Egg Fabergé has yet to make, and various unidentifiable eggs that go under the denominator "Fabergé-style".
Contrary to what the title of this page may suggest, none of these movies were honoured with an Academy Award.
The movies in which a Fabergé Egg plays a "leading role" are:
Click the links above and take a look for yourself and read more on the Internet. Some of the movies are (in parts) available on YouTube!
Thick as Thieves (also known as The Code) (2009)
Starring Antonio Banderas & Morgan Freeman. Synopsis here!
They sure did their best on the eggs. They even have the missing Royal Danish Egg! There is an egg like the Imperial Lilies of the Valley Egg, and there is a Swan Egg with the little swan next to it. Their Pansy Egg has a remarkable color; I think I prefer Fabergé's nephrite Pansy Egg!
Multi-millionaire suspects his wife of having an affair, and hires a private eye, to follow her. When wife learns on that she's being followed, she makes a counter-offer that private eye can't refuse: help her leave the country in return for half the worth of her husband's $20 million Fabergé Winter Egg. More.
The Egg below is their "Fabergé Winter Egg".
The plot of the movie revolves around the feud between Ocean and Terry Benedict and is a follow-up to a 2001 movie entitled Ocean’s 11 with the same cast including among others, George Clooney, Julia Roberts, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon. A heist in Rome includes a modern-style Fabergé Coronation Egg made by the firm of Vivian Alexander, Maurice (LA). An egg from the numbered series was shown at the Gadsden (AL) Cultural Arts Center in November 2004. (Above text courtesy old Fabergé Research Site)
Alexander Caldwell, president of Vivian Alexander™, was privileged to observe, measure, and photograph these historic objets of art. Alexander, accompanied by his top Vivian Alexander™ modellers and sculptors, visited the Forbes Gallery in New York expressly to gain the knowledge to replicate these beauties in exact detail. The group was afforded a private viewing room and the assistance of the Forbes curator to carry out their enviable labours. The final works of art were presented to the Forbes family for their inspection and evaluation. After approval the first Vivian Alexander™ replicas were given to the Forbes Collection. The photograph below was taken to commemorate the achievement.
This historic picture is the only image ever taken of the Original Fabergé Imperial Coronation Egg and a replica. The other similarly distinguished eggs are the Imperial Lilies of the Valley Egg. Pictured right is Christopher "Kip" Forbes with the two original Fabergé Eggs. Left Alexander Caldwell of Vivian Alexander™.
Below the Vivian Alexander™ Imperial Coronation Egg that was shipped to Rome and used in the filming of the 2004 Warner Bros. Movie Ocean's 12. Picture taken in Warner Bros. Studio on the set for Ocean's 12.
Above the Imperial Coronation Egg by Vivian Alexander™ with detail. Click for the Vivian Alexander Website
From the Internet Movie Data Base: The eccentric stories of a free spirited couple, the husband's brother, a basketball game, a bookie named Dutch, two sinister and corrupt twins conniving over a mysterious Fabergé egg for their wife's anniversary, a business hit-man, and an ex-con that has nothing to do with this story. They all collide during the course of a typical no thrills weekend.
No image yet so the egg remains mysterious
Starring Jean-Claude van Damme. For the story click here, for the egg, see below.
The film was released in June 2001 and was, according to Wiki, a commercial and critical failure. Their "Fabergé Egg":
Three "Fabergé Eggs" star in this romantic mystery-heist story about a baroness who is forced to steal some priceless Fabergé Eggs and deliver them to ransom her kidnapped fiancé. Plot summary. Audrey Hepburn played her last leading role in this movie. She later made only a special appearance in the 1989 movie, "Always".
The "Fabergé Eggs" in this movie I have not been able to identify, but one of them (below second picture) with the little ovals perhaps looks a bit like the Imperial Caucasus Egg.
Albert R. Broccoli for Eon Productions, released by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer/United Artists. Octopussy. Santa Monica (CA), 1983. Movie, issued as a video in 2003.
In 1983 a film, entitled Octopussy, was made in Great Britain. The major part of the plot is a theft of state jewelry from the Kremlin Art Depository (fictional), replaced with forgeries, and the originals then smuggled into Western Europe to be sold.
Roger More holding the Octopussy Fabergé Egg. Courtesy: YouTube.
A Fabergé egg modeled after the original Coronation Egg is found with a murdered British agent. It puts Agent 007 James Bond, played by Roger Moore, on the trail that leads to a devastating military plot to destroy détente and weaken NATO defenses in Europe. The movie is based on three short stories, Octopussy, The Living Daylights, and The Property of a Lady written by novelist/journalist Ian Fleming (1908-1965). In 2005 the Bond egg was displayed at the Arizona Science Center in BOND. James Bond. The Exhibition. Additional information about the movie and short stories are in James Benson, The James Bond Bedside Companion. (New York: Dodd, Mead and Company, 1984). Source and more on the Fabergé Research Site.
A "prop egg" for the same movie was sold at Christie's in London on December 5, 2006 for £1,200 including buyers premium:
Lot Notes "This egg is identical to one used at the beginning of the film when Agent 009, disguised as a clown in a circus in East Berlin during Operation Trove, is being pursued by the Russians who want the return of the Fabergé Egg he has just stolen. Agent 009 is making for the British Ambassador's residence however, the Russians throw knives at his back as he escapes. Fortuitously, he makes it to the British Ambassador's residence where he crashes through the french windows, dropping the egg, which rolls across the room to the feet of the Ambassador.
This egg is less detailed than the one used for close-ups in other sequences, which is common practice for stunt props as they could be damaged by the demands of a stunt sequence".
Lot notes and image below, courtesy Christie's London.
My thanks to Juan F. Déniz for assisting me with this page, for searching the internet, making screenshots and for his never ending enthusiasm for Fabergé!
Want to see the real Eggs? Go to my YouTube page!
Page updated: May 13, 2016