Alexandra Feodorovna's Imperial Easter Eggs - The Maple Room Corner Cabinet

Maple Room
(Photo courtesy wiki - Click here for a large version)

So often I have looked at the above photo of Empress Alexandra's Imperial Easter Eggs displayed in the corner cabinet of the famous Maple Room* in the Alexander Palace. To see the Eggs where they were put by their owner is really special.

I love the photo too for the magnificent portraits on both sides of the cabinet by Friedrich August Von Kaulbach (1850–1920) of the four beautiful Grand Duchesses, and the portraits of the Tsar and Alexei the heir; this sure is the Empress' corner!

It is a sad photo too for when the Imperial family were exiled in 1917 [4], they took these portraits with hem on their journey and we all know what faith awaited them there...

So much already is written about this Maple Room, this corner, this cabinet. Even the Eggs inside the cabinet are identified with more or less success. Just for myself I wanted once and for all to determine which Imperial Easter Eggs were displayed in the cabinet. I could guess but I love to have proof!

Alexandra Feodorovna received 20 Imperial Easter Eggs, starting in 1895 with the Rosebud Egg and ending in 1916 with the Steel Military Egg. Here below are pictured all twenty Eggs.

Rosebud Egg
Egg with Revolving Miniatures
Coronation Egg
Lilies of the Valley Egg
Madonna lily Clock Egg
1895
1896
1897
1898
1899
Trans-siberian Railway Egg
Flower Basket Egg
Clover Leaf Egg
Peter the Great Egg
Moscow Kremlin Egg
1900
1901
1902
1903
1906
Rose Trellis Egg
Alexander Palece Egg
Standart Egg
Colonnade Egg
15th Anniversary Egg
1907
1908
1909
1910
1911
Tsarevich Egg
Tercentenairy Egg
Mosaic Egg
Red Cross Tryptich Egg
Steel Military Egg
1912
1913
1914
1915
1916

Winter Palace

We know from an inventory of articles belonging to Their Imperial Majesties, compiled by Her Imperial Majesty's Inspector of Premises of the Imperial Winter Palace, N. Dementiev, that on the 10th of April 1909, the following ten Imperial Easter Eggs were present in the Corner showcase between the door leading into the bedroom and the window in the Winter Palace. [1]

First shelf from top:
Trans-siberian Railway Egg Lilies of the Valley Egg 1897 coachClover Leaf Egg Egg with Revolving Miniatures
Second shelf from top:
Madonna lily Clock EggPeter the Great EggRosebud EggCoronation EggFlower Basket Egg
Bottom shelf:
Rose Trellis Egg

Short and sweet, the first nine Eggs 1895 - 1903, plus the 1907 Rose Trellis Egg. There is of course, no way for us to know why i.e. the 1906 Kremlin Egg was not also housed in the Winter Palace. These Eggs were (still?) in the Winter Palace when in May 1917 they were consigned to the Office of H.I.M. Cabinet. [2]

Alexander Palace

Back to the Alexander Palace. The above photo of the Maple Room is said [3] to be made circa 1914. We clearly see the 1913 Romanov Tercentenary Egg, so we know that this photo was made after Easter 1913.

We do not know however, if the photo was made before or after Easter 1914 when the Empress received the 1914 Mosaic Egg. So by the time the photo was made, Empress Alexandra had received either 17 or 18 Eggs. The ten in the Winter Palace and the seven or eight Eggs below. Eggs for the years 1915 and 1916 still had to come.

Moscow Kremlin Egg
Alexander Palece Egg
Standart Egg
Colonnade Egg
15th Anniversary Egg
1906
1908
1909
1910
1911
Tsarevich Egg
Tercentenairy Egg
Mosaic Egg
1912
1913
1914

From an unfortunately very grainy enlargement we can none the less clearly identify six of the seven Eggs in the cabinet. Those on the lowest shelf can only be from left to right, the 1908 Alexander Palace Egg, the 1909 Standart Egg and either the 1912 Tsarevich Egg or the 1914 Mosaic Egg.

Maple Room

First shelf from top:
Colonnade Egg
Second shelf from top:
15th Anniversary EggMoscow Kremlin EggTercentenairy Egg
Bottom shelf:
Alexander Palece EggStandart EggTsarevich Egg

The Alexander Palace Egg is 11 cm in height, the Tsarevich Egg is 12,5 cm and the Mosaic Egg 9,5 cm. As the right Egg on the lowest shelf in the photo is at least as big (if not bigger) as the Alexander Palace Egg, only the Tsarevich Egg fits here.

Done!

* In Fabergé literature this room is very often misidentified as the Mauve and or Lilac Room.

[1] Fabergé, Proler and Skurlov, The Fabergé Imperial Easter Eggs, 1997, appendix 3, page 253.
[2] Ibid.
[3] Pfeifer Swezey, Nicholas and Alexandra - At home with the Last Tsar and His Family - Treasures from the Alexander Palace, 2004, 11.
[4] Alexander Palace Discussion Forum - Retrieved June 20, 2016

---

Now that the Empress Alexandra Feodorovna's Eggs have their own page, Empress Marie's Eggs deserve one too.

Next Empress Marie Feodorovna's Imperial Easter Eggs (in progress)

 

 


AW - Page made June 20, 2016

Page updated: September 22, 2016