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Between 1885 and 1916, Carl Faberge made fifty fabulous jewelled eggs - Easter presents from Russia's last two emperors to their wives. They have become the most famous surviving symbols of the Romanov Empire: supreme examples of the jeweller's art, but, to some, the vulgar playthings of a decadent court on the brink of revolution. Every one of these masterpieces is a slic Between 1885 and 1916, Carl Faberge made fifty fabulous jewelled eggs - Easter presents from Russia's last two emperors to their wives. They have become the most famous surviving symbols of the Romanov Empire: supreme examples of the jeweller's art, but, to some, the vulgar playthings of a decadent court on the brink of revolution. Every one of these masterpieces is a slice of history, with each telling its own remarkable story." "Commissioned to produce a different egg every year, Faberge began a relentless search for novelty. It would see him exploiting, and extending, almost every jewellery technique and style available, creating eggs which reflected the lives and characters of the empresses who would receive them. Lavishly extravagant eggs commemorate public events that now seem little more than staging posts on the march to revolution. Others contrast the joie de vivre of the older tsarina, Marie Fedorovna, with her daughter-in-law Alexandra's shy and domestic spirituality. The muted austerity of the final few eggs seems all too appropriate for a country fighting to survive in the First World War." The abdication of the last tsar, Nicholas II, brought the sequence to an end. As he and his family were brutally massacred in a Siberian basement, the eggs disappeared, only to emerge years later in the storerooms of the Kremlin. Their subsequent history encompasses Bolsheviks and entrepreneurs, tycoons and heiresses, con-men and queens. Eggs have been sold and smuggled, stolen and forged. Now, as they return to Russia, bought by oligarchs, their history - like that of Russia itself- seems to have come full circle. Faberge's Eggs provides an engrossing, compelling and at timessurprising window onto the empire these masterpieces outlived.


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Between 1885 and 1916, Carl Faberge made fifty fabulous jewelled eggs - Easter presents from Russia's last two emperors to their wives. They have become the most famous surviving symbols of the Romanov Empire: supreme examples of the jeweller's art, but, to some, the vulgar playthings of a decadent court on the brink of revolution. Every one of these masterpieces is a slic Between 1885 and 1916, Carl Faberge made fifty fabulous jewelled eggs - Easter presents from Russia's last two emperors to their wives. They have become the most famous surviving symbols of the Romanov Empire: supreme examples of the jeweller's art, but, to some, the vulgar playthings of a decadent court on the brink of revolution. Every one of these masterpieces is a slice of history, with each telling its own remarkable story." "Commissioned to produce a different egg every year, Faberge began a relentless search for novelty. It would see him exploiting, and extending, almost every jewellery technique and style available, creating eggs which reflected the lives and characters of the empresses who would receive them. Lavishly extravagant eggs commemorate public events that now seem little more than staging posts on the march to revolution. Others contrast the joie de vivre of the older tsarina, Marie Fedorovna, with her daughter-in-law Alexandra's shy and domestic spirituality. The muted austerity of the final few eggs seems all too appropriate for a country fighting to survive in the First World War." The abdication of the last tsar, Nicholas II, brought the sequence to an end. As he and his family were brutally massacred in a Siberian basement, the eggs disappeared, only to emerge years later in the storerooms of the Kremlin. Their subsequent history encompasses Bolsheviks and entrepreneurs, tycoons and heiresses, con-men and queens. Eggs have been sold and smuggled, stolen and forged. Now, as they return to Russia, bought by oligarchs, their history - like that of Russia itself- seems to have come full circle. Faberge's Eggs provides an engrossing, compelling and at timessurprising window onto the empire these masterpieces outlived.

30 review for Faberge's Eggs: The Extraordinary Story of the Masterpieces That Outlived an Empire

  1. 5 out of 5

    Megan

    This awful book is prejudiced, self-contradictory, and absurdly ill-informed. Despite his book's very new copyright date, Faber rehearses myths, outdated speculations, and uninformed personal opinion as though it were all fact, neverminding the fact that discoveries in the early 2000s had blown the lid off many of these misconceptions. Further rendering the book both outdated and useless (and not even of historical interest), within months of its publication, new articles were published that dis This awful book is prejudiced, self-contradictory, and absurdly ill-informed. Despite his book's very new copyright date, Faber rehearses myths, outdated speculations, and uninformed personal opinion as though it were all fact, neverminding the fact that discoveries in the early 2000s had blown the lid off many of these misconceptions. Further rendering the book both outdated and useless (and not even of historical interest), within months of its publication, new articles were published that disproved a number of the myth-like theories he attempts to perpetuate. The book is flatly not well researched; it seems as though Faber wrote it sometime in the late 90s, found the manuscript in a drawer, and sent it undoctored to a publisher in 2007. For instance, he writes at the beginning of chapter 8, "Nicholas and Alexandra feared that public knowledge of Alexis's illness would destabilize the throne. They guarded the truth about his condition extremely closely. Even Marie may not have known of her grandson's deadly inheritance." He's talking about the fact that there are no red Easter eggs after Alexei's birth in 1904. (Actually, he phrases it "For more than a decade after the Tsarevitch's birth the eggs that Fabergé made for both Marie and Alexandra would almost entirely shun the colour red." But it's not complicated to look at them and see that there are no red eggs whatever after 1904. There aren't even noticeably red decorations on any of them, either.) The sudden absence of the color red after Alexei's birth is exclusively treated by Fabergé scholars as a response to the Imperial family's distress about Alexei's condition. Whether Fabergé himself knew or whether Nicholas made a very simple statement of "hey, no more red eggs," it is not complicated to make the connection. Not that Fabergé was terribly fond of red anyway--there are only two known red eggs, two red surprises (one to a lost egg), and one egg with red decorative touches (before 1904). And yet Monsieur Faber authoritatively declares, "It is surely reading too much into the eggs to assume that their colours were the result of anything more than Fabergé's remorseless search for original and pleasing themes." I won't even get into a discussion about his bizarre choice of the word "remorseless," the meaning of which has nothing to do with the sense of that sentence. Then he refers to Gatchina Palace as "Marie's summer residence," willfully or ignorantly ignoring the far more obvious reason for the egg's significance--that was where she had spent her days as tsaritsa and where she had raised her children including Nicholas II. He also considered the Gatchina Palace egg a "failure," a judgment of it never repeated in any other book on the subject that I have read. Another example of where he veers wildly off track is when he says of the Coronation Egg of 1897 that "it is doubtful whether any gift held more unwelcome memories for its recipient." He oddly has no judgment of the sort for the 1906 Moscow Kremlin Egg, actually stamped twice with the date 1904; scholars have well established that it was delayed twice, the first time because of massive Russian defeats by the Japanese, and the second time because Nicholas' favorite uncle, Grand Duke Sergei Alexandrovich, was suddenly and shockingly assassinated in the Kremlin, and the gift was clearly inappropriate. Others speculate on its status as an unpleasant reminder--though it could just as likely been a touching memorial--to the royal couple, but not Mr. Faber, whose vote for "most unpleasant reminder ever" sits with the glorious yellow Coronation Egg--the thieves' target in Ocean's 12--because the day Nicholas came to power was certainly far more unpleasant to remember than the day his favorite uncle was blown to pieces. If I'm going to be fair, there is a brief afterword that provides some recent discoveries -- but no way this redeems the rest of this awful book. The first chapters are nearly unbearable; his obvious prejudice against the Romanov family has me wondering why he didn't choose a topic he found more palatable to write about. I have other examples of his idiocy, but I'm tired. This guy is so obviously on the side of the communists, I can't imagine why he ever took it into his head to write a book about Fabergé eggs and then spend the whole book demonizing the Imperial family rather than even talking about Fabergé. He contradicts himself left, right, and center. He keeps complaining about Imperial Russia being an "anachronism" . . . at a date in history when half the world was under the control of the British Empire! I just don't think they were quite outdated yet. On one page, he sadly observes that Alexander II's reforms weren't enough for the people who wanted to destroy the system and start over from the ground up; a chapter later, he complains that more reforms weren't made. I thought you said those were useless?? Anyway--the Romanovs were murdered in a thoroughly beastly fashion; I just don't think they need some little twerp from the 21st century tearing them apart. I have a related outburst which goes something like this, People are way too hard on Nicholas II, and I wonder if in our human nature to want people to "deserve" what they get, we have characterized him in a way he doesn't deserve at all. Was he actually a bad ruler, or do we just think so because we want him to have deserved what he got? (Though that begs the question, almost instantly, of whether incompetence really deserves execution in a basement in the middle of the night, and whether one's family ought to be butchered as well, and then have the bodies lost for 80 years.) In conclusion, I wasn't expecting pictures, and there are very few (practically none of the eggs he writes about). I was expecting more details about the lives of the Fabergés, and there is precious little of that. I acknowledge that the final portion of the book is much better; it traces the sale of the eggs and describes various purchasers and collectors. Still, on the whole, I recommend readers to try another book. If you want pictures, you can do no worse than Gerard Hill's Fabergé and the Russian Master Goldsmiths, a book with pictures that positively glow on the page. For history and pictures, Karen Farrington's Fabergé is a masterpiece. And of course, Tatiana Fabergé's own The Fabergé Imperial Easter Eggs is flawlessly researched, interesting, and full of history and pictures in abundance. Don't waste your time on Tony Faber. Original review from Hundredaire Socialite

  2. 4 out of 5

    Zosi

    Very interesting, providing a new look at the Russian Revolution-and the eggs that are themselves shrouded in mystery to some extent. I would have liked more pictures, especially of the eggs-I had to look all of them up, as the descriptions often weren’t enough.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Lena

    Between 1885 and 1917, the workshops of Carl Fabergé produced more than 50 hand-crafted eggs that were given as Easter gifts to the last two Russian czarinas. In this highly readable account, Toby Faber tells the story of these eggs, the jewelers who produced them, the dying regime that commissioned them, and how they came to be some of the world's most highly coveted objects in the century following the fall of the czars. Though I was drawn to this book by my own glittery fascination with these Between 1885 and 1917, the workshops of Carl Fabergé produced more than 50 hand-crafted eggs that were given as Easter gifts to the last two Russian czarinas. In this highly readable account, Toby Faber tells the story of these eggs, the jewelers who produced them, the dying regime that commissioned them, and how they came to be some of the world's most highly coveted objects in the century following the fall of the czars. Though I was drawn to this book by my own glittery fascination with these exotic creations from another time, I came away from it with a much more solid understanding of Russian history and the conditions that led to the Communist revolution. Faber also adds an interesting layer of psychology to his account by speculating on why Fabergé chose various themes for the czarina's eggs, pointing out things like how, in the years following the revelation that the heir to the throne suffered from hemophilia, the color red all but disappeared from the czarina's annual Easter gifts. The last section of the book contains elements of mystery as Faber traces the eggs' fate in the chaotic wake of the revolution, eight of which are still missing. Passionate collectors lost no time in seeing the value of those that came on the market as the new Soviet government tried to raise hard currency, but Faber makes a good case that Malcom Forbes' obsession with owning more imperial eggs than the Kremlin is in large part responsible for the stratospheric prices that they now command. Though I have yet to see one myself, Faber's book helped me better understand why the widespread public fascination with these last examples of a lost artistic and imperial tradition is well-justified.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Sabrina

    Very, very interesting. I enjoyed reading about the actual eggs as well as the events that were going on at the time the eggs were made. Definitely a different perspective on history.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Linda A. Cox

    This was a great book to learn about Faberge eggs and the Romanov dynasty. To me more pictures would have put this book into the five star category. It's nicet to have descriptions but to see the eggs would have been great. I realize not all of the eggs were photographed but the ones in museums have been and it would have added so much to the book. This was a great book to learn about Faberge eggs and the Romanov dynasty. To me more pictures would have put this book into the five star category. It's nicet to have descriptions but to see the eggs would have been great. I realize not all of the eggs were photographed but the ones in museums have been and it would have added so much to the book.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Joelle

    This was absolutely just straight up fun to read! Faber never once becomes pedantic, and his personal reflections on the people involved bring life and meaning to the history of the eggs. It's informative without being boring, but yet rich in biographical details. This was absolutely just straight up fun to read! Faber never once becomes pedantic, and his personal reflections on the people involved bring life and meaning to the history of the eggs. It's informative without being boring, but yet rich in biographical details.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Laura Oganowski

    I’m not a big art person but this book is a great read. Enough Russian history in here to make it interesting!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Nine Provinces

    Another one for the geeks. If flipping though pretty picture books about Faberge Eggs is leaving you hungry for more, read on for this 53-egg omelet. In painstaking detail, the author tells us about the evolution of these precious eggs, their fates, and the fates of some of the recipients. He speaks of factory conditions, historical parallels, artists getting credit for their own work in turn-of-the century Russia, and the political significance of the eggs. This book can really put the non in no Another one for the geeks. If flipping though pretty picture books about Faberge Eggs is leaving you hungry for more, read on for this 53-egg omelet. In painstaking detail, the author tells us about the evolution of these precious eggs, their fates, and the fates of some of the recipients. He speaks of factory conditions, historical parallels, artists getting credit for their own work in turn-of-the century Russia, and the political significance of the eggs. This book can really put the non in non fiction....it's a slow read; some non fiction books flow more than this one, but eventually, I realized I had to own this one for my bookshelf rather than continue to renew and hog my library's copy. I've read some other books that mention Faberge eggs, and almost always, Toby Faber is cited as a preeminent source. Comprehensive but better read in a quiet room with concentration than on in a public space (unless you have a better attention span than me). Enjoy

  9. 4 out of 5

    Erika

    A look at the history of the amazing Faberge Eggs and the Romanov family behind their creation. The book starts with the origins of the Faberge family and the creation and operation of his workshop and then quickly moves on to delve much more deeply into the history of the Romanov family and how the tradition of the Faberge Easter Eggs got started. In and out of the authors coverage of the Romanov's there is some discussion of the work that went into the eggs but mostly this book was about the R A look at the history of the amazing Faberge Eggs and the Romanov family behind their creation. The book starts with the origins of the Faberge family and the creation and operation of his workshop and then quickly moves on to delve much more deeply into the history of the Romanov family and how the tradition of the Faberge Easter Eggs got started. In and out of the authors coverage of the Romanov's there is some discussion of the work that went into the eggs but mostly this book was about the Romanov's and how the eggs fit into their lives. If I were to have a serious complaint about this book this would be it. While I did learn more about the Faberge family and the eggs than I had ever known before, way, way more time was spend on the Romanov's that I wish had been spent more on the eggs themselves or what went into their creation My secondary complaint is the lack of color plates of the eggs themselves, it was so frustrating to read descriptions of these wonderful eggs but not be able to see more than a few of them. I do understand how expensive color plates can be and I have no idea how restrictive with the images of the eggs the current owners might be. It was still very frustrating. My last complaint would be the last few chapters where it just became a listing of who bought them and how and when and while I expect that is interesting to true scholars, I found it tedious. All that said I did really enjoy this book and looked forward to getting back to reading it when I had to put it down. It was well written, had more details then I had read before about either top but never really felt dry and scholarly (the last few chapters aside) and I got a feel for these historical figures as real people. This would be a good starting point for anyone interested in either Faberge or the Romanov’s.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Patrick R.

    A fantastic account of some of the most storied art objects of the past century. Faber gives a vivacious account of Faberge's short-lived dynasty as well as well informed accounts of the last Russian Royal Family. Supplemented by numerous letters and first hand account, the final era of the Russian Empire is brought back to life by Faber and the Egg's history that so closely follows is presented in an extremely entertaining and enlightening fashion. Also present are a series of extremely useful A fantastic account of some of the most storied art objects of the past century. Faber gives a vivacious account of Faberge's short-lived dynasty as well as well informed accounts of the last Russian Royal Family. Supplemented by numerous letters and first hand account, the final era of the Russian Empire is brought back to life by Faber and the Egg's history that so closely follows is presented in an extremely entertaining and enlightening fashion. Also present are a series of extremely useful appendices. This is a very well put together book.

  11. 4 out of 5

    David

    From 1885 to 1917, the Carl Fabergé workshops produced more than 50 hand-crafted fabulous jeweled eggs that were given as Easter gifts to the last two Russian czarinas. Toby Faber tells the story of these eggs, the jewelers who produced them, the dying Romanov regime that commissioned them, what happened to most of the eggs, and how they came to be some of the world's most highly coveted objects in the century following the fall of the czars. (Summary) Fabergé's Eggs: The Extraordinary Story of t From 1885 to 1917, the Carl Fabergé workshops produced more than 50 hand-crafted fabulous jeweled eggs that were given as Easter gifts to the last two Russian czarinas. Toby Faber tells the story of these eggs, the jewelers who produced them, the dying Romanov regime that commissioned them, what happened to most of the eggs, and how they came to be some of the world's most highly coveted objects in the century following the fall of the czars. (Summary) Fabergé's Eggs: The Extraordinary Story of the Masterpieces That Outlived an Empire by Toby Faber contains a lot of Romanov and Russian history, along with the jewel-making story, making this a fascinating read. Along with the solid look at Russian history and the inevitable revolution, there is thoughtful speculation on why Faberge chose to make particular eggs for each czarina. The modern section tracing where the eggs now reside was interesting in its looks at individuals such as Armand Hammer, Matilda Geddings Gray and Malcolm Forbes. The end data was very useful paticularly the family trees for the Faberge's and The Romanovs and the summary of egg info. I would have preferred to also have a Family Tree of Victoria and the Windsor's, and perhaps even the Danish Royal fmaily tree to keep the various relationships straight. More & larger pictures of existing eggs would also have nmade the book more enjoyable, though the recommended websites are very helpful, particularly the website: www.mieks.com/Faberge2/index2/htm with descriptions and photos (when available) of each major Faberge egg. For those interesting in Faberge, jewelry, Russian and Romanov history.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Asho

    I enjoyed this book, although it took me longer to get through than I thought it would. I am fascinated by imperial Russian history so I was excited by the idea of a book that traced the downfall of the Romanovs through focusing on their Faberge eggs. It's definitely an intriguing idea, and I always like histories that re-tell well-known stories through new lenses. With that said, the book was a bit inconsistent, which is why it received only three stars (although I'd give 3.5 if I could). I wish I enjoyed this book, although it took me longer to get through than I thought it would. I am fascinated by imperial Russian history so I was excited by the idea of a book that traced the downfall of the Romanovs through focusing on their Faberge eggs. It's definitely an intriguing idea, and I always like histories that re-tell well-known stories through new lenses. With that said, the book was a bit inconsistent, which is why it received only three stars (although I'd give 3.5 if I could). I wish there had been a bit more detail about the czars and czarinas, and I could have done without the chapters on how the eggs made their way into private collections in the west. I did enjoy the final chapters on controversies surrounding the authenticity of some of the eggs and theories about where the missing eggs may be now. I absolutely loved the sumptuous descriptions of the eggs. I was drooling over the description of the jewels and the colors. I've seen the Faberge egg collection at the Kremlin (which is why I wanted to read this book in the first place) and now I'm inspired to visit some of the museums near my area that have imperial eggs.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Sesana

    I've been fascinated in the Imperial Faberge eggs since I first played Shadow Hearts: Covenant. One of the party members is Anastasia Romanov (yes, really) and her weapons are Faberge eggs (yes, really!). I was surprised at how many of them were (however loosely) based on real Imperial eggs. I really enjoyed this book, getting to learn the backstory behind all of these eggs. Most of them are beautiful, some of them are a little gaudy, but all of them are masterfully crafted. The story of the egg I've been fascinated in the Imperial Faberge eggs since I first played Shadow Hearts: Covenant. One of the party members is Anastasia Romanov (yes, really) and her weapons are Faberge eggs (yes, really!). I was surprised at how many of them were (however loosely) based on real Imperial eggs. I really enjoyed this book, getting to learn the backstory behind all of these eggs. Most of them are beautiful, some of them are a little gaudy, but all of them are masterfully crafted. The story of the eggs after Revolution is every bit as interesting as their Imperial history, and takes up a good half of the book. The only thing that I didn't like is that the book doesn't really cover every egg. This may be because there's scant information about some of them, or that their symbolism wasn't obvious enough that any comment could be made. It also could have been improved by including more color photographs of the eggs. My copy at least only had images, color or black and white, of a few of the eggs.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Amanda Patterson

    The most valuable Easter Eggs of all time have out-lived an empire, survived a revolution and fled their motherland in search of better-lined display cases. This is the epic telling of the final days of these symbols of the wealth of the Tsars. Toby Faber shows how powerful a reputation these treasures have gathered from the time of Faberge until the present day. However, the eggs themselves are god-awfully boring with the exception of their making. Once you get over the cost of it, there’s reall The most valuable Easter Eggs of all time have out-lived an empire, survived a revolution and fled their motherland in search of better-lined display cases. This is the epic telling of the final days of these symbols of the wealth of the Tsars. Toby Faber shows how powerful a reputation these treasures have gathered from the time of Faberge until the present day. However, the eggs themselves are god-awfully boring with the exception of their making. Once you get over the cost of it, there’s really very little to say about a knick-knack. The real draw is the blood, gore and the gusto in which Faber seems to delight in the re-telling. He paints the Tsars meek and the people brutal, which is refreshing. Hearing about how opulent and terrible they were is such communist nonsense, and frankly tiresome. This book is a wonderful slice of White Russia that any aspiring oligarch should have read to them, of course. Over all an entertaining read with plenty of nonsense and gossip thrown in to counter the boring bits. Amanda Patterson & Christopher Dean

  15. 4 out of 5

    Martin Rose

    Toby Faber does a spectacular job of detailing the history of these eggs, from the circumstances that led to their creation and the times they were created in, their journey as gifts to where they ultimately end up by the book's conclusion. His language is forthright and but it's more than this -- from time to time he amuses with a startling insight on the character of the people involved, such as the unscrupulous Armand Hammer, the frosty Empress Alexandra who is often at odds with the dowager Toby Faber does a spectacular job of detailing the history of these eggs, from the circumstances that led to their creation and the times they were created in, their journey as gifts to where they ultimately end up by the book's conclusion. His language is forthright and but it's more than this -- from time to time he amuses with a startling insight on the character of the people involved, such as the unscrupulous Armand Hammer, the frosty Empress Alexandra who is often at odds with the dowager Empress Marie, the eccentric Carl Faberge and the fate of his sons in post-revolutionary Russia, to Malcolm Forbes and others in between. I picked up this book to do research in preparation for writing a novel and was pleased to discover it was well researched -- and I also appreciate that Faber never makes a sensationalized account of what happened to the Romanov's, which tends to be the norm with books touching on the last years of Imperial Russia. I thoroughly enjoyed the trip it took me on, a case of where fact actually trumps fiction in the strange department.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Julie

    This was a great comprehensive look at Faberge’s life, his work, and his relationship with the Russian Imperial Family. After Alexander III first began the tradition of giving a Faberge egg to his wife every Easter, Faberge’s skill and attention to detail flourished each year. Upon Alexander’s death, his son Nicholas II would continue the custom, commissioning elaborate eggs for both his mother and his wife. Faber’s book details many of these imperial eggs, and traces their histories through the This was a great comprehensive look at Faberge’s life, his work, and his relationship with the Russian Imperial Family. After Alexander III first began the tradition of giving a Faberge egg to his wife every Easter, Faberge’s skill and attention to detail flourished each year. Upon Alexander’s death, his son Nicholas II would continue the custom, commissioning elaborate eggs for both his mother and his wife. Faber’s book details many of these imperial eggs, and traces their histories through the revolution, through the century, and around the world. This book also illustrates the decadence of pre-revolutionary czarist Russia. Faberge’s workshops created the most ornate and sought-after jewelry and trinkets in the world until WWI and the communist uprising devastated any market for such frivolities. Regardless, Faberge’s eggs were impressive creations, each unique and spectacular in their craftsmanship and originality.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Charles DeWitt

    Between 1885 and 1917, Czars Alexander III and Nicholas II purchased approximately 50 jeweled eggs from the renowned House of Fabergé under the direction of its scion, Karl Gustavovich. Barring intervening events (e.g., Bolshevik firing squads), the Czars would present one egg per year at Easter to each of the women in their lives, namely, the Empress Alexandra Fedorovna and the Dowager Empress Maria Fedorovna. Each egg contained a “surprise,” an often mechanical and always ingenious device to a Between 1885 and 1917, Czars Alexander III and Nicholas II purchased approximately 50 jeweled eggs from the renowned House of Fabergé under the direction of its scion, Karl Gustavovich. Barring intervening events (e.g., Bolshevik firing squads), the Czars would present one egg per year at Easter to each of the women in their lives, namely, the Empress Alexandra Fedorovna and the Dowager Empress Maria Fedorovna. Each egg contained a “surprise,” an often mechanical and always ingenious device to amuse the recipient. An engaging history of the waning days of the Romanov dynasty, told through the Czar’s annual Easter gifts to his wife and mother. My full review is available .

  18. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca Huston

    A look at the collection of Imperial Easter Eggs that were made by Carl Faberge, who they were for, and even more interesting, what happened to them after the Russian Revolution. Terrific read that isn't too heavy, and rather exciting. While some of it is redundant, and will be not that interesting if they already know about Faberge, the Romanovs, and the Eggs, it still is a good introduction to the topic. To see the complete review, please go here: http://www.epinions.com/review/Book_F... A look at the collection of Imperial Easter Eggs that were made by Carl Faberge, who they were for, and even more interesting, what happened to them after the Russian Revolution. Terrific read that isn't too heavy, and rather exciting. While some of it is redundant, and will be not that interesting if they already know about Faberge, the Romanovs, and the Eggs, it still is a good introduction to the topic. To see the complete review, please go here: http://www.epinions.com/review/Book_F...

  19. 4 out of 5

    sisterimapoet

    A great read. A straightforward chronological approach introducing the key players and background settings necessary but never bogging the reader down in unnecessary detail. It felt like the perfect book for an interested amateur (with mild interest in the art and the history). Great to see the eggs begin and end their journeys with a few grey patches on route. Good to have the list at the end to see all their names, dates and final ownership. As others have said, would have been nice to have pi A great read. A straightforward chronological approach introducing the key players and background settings necessary but never bogging the reader down in unnecessary detail. It felt like the perfect book for an interested amateur (with mild interest in the art and the history). Great to see the eggs begin and end their journeys with a few grey patches on route. Good to have the list at the end to see all their names, dates and final ownership. As others have said, would have been nice to have pictures of every egg included, but easy to look them up online. And of course I'm now desperate to try to see an egg for myself!

  20. 5 out of 5

    Jerry Smith

    I like books like this - ones that weave a couple of story lines together. Having heard of the Faberge imperial eggs but not in any detail this was pitched about right for me. It tells the story of the eggs from the time they were made to the present but in terms context i.e. what was happening at the time. In many ways the explanation of the last days of the Romanovs is the most interesting piece, especially for an non-expert like me. I learned a lot about that period of history without having t I like books like this - ones that weave a couple of story lines together. Having heard of the Faberge imperial eggs but not in any detail this was pitched about right for me. It tells the story of the eggs from the time they were made to the present but in terms context i.e. what was happening at the time. In many ways the explanation of the last days of the Romanovs is the most interesting piece, especially for an non-expert like me. I learned a lot about that period of history without having to delve into huge detail.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Chrissy

    I've been obsessed with Faberge Eggs for as long as I can remember. Their opulence speaks of a different time and place, and their beauty is astonishing. So I knew this book would be something I would love! It took me a long time to finish it, not because it was boring or uninteresting, but because I had to stop so often to look up pictures of the eggs themselves. That was actually probably the biggest problem with the book: so few pictures! But overall it was a fascinating look at Faberge, his I've been obsessed with Faberge Eggs for as long as I can remember. Their opulence speaks of a different time and place, and their beauty is astonishing. So I knew this book would be something I would love! It took me a long time to finish it, not because it was boring or uninteresting, but because I had to stop so often to look up pictures of the eggs themselves. That was actually probably the biggest problem with the book: so few pictures! But overall it was a fascinating look at Faberge, his art, the Romanovs, and the chaos after the Revolution. Great book!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Jason

    This was a fascinating look at the Faberge Eggs, but I wish it were more on the eggs themselves and less on the complete history of Russia. I've read Nicholas and Alexandra-I've already covered that ground-I was hoping this would be about the actual making of the eggs. Oh, well-it was still incredibly interesting to read about the history of the eggs in relation to the history of the Russian Czars and subsequent Russian Revolution. This was a fascinating look at the Faberge Eggs, but I wish it were more on the eggs themselves and less on the complete history of Russia. I've read Nicholas and Alexandra-I've already covered that ground-I was hoping this would be about the actual making of the eggs. Oh, well-it was still incredibly interesting to read about the history of the eggs in relation to the history of the Russian Czars and subsequent Russian Revolution.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Denise Louise

    Very good summary of the making of the Faberge eggs and the history surrounding them. It's an engaging story of their journey from treasured gifts to overindulgent trinkets to objects of art worth millions. I only wish this book had been available when I saw the display of American-owned eggs in 1997 in Cleveland, so I would have appreciated more what I was seeing. The chance to see that many at once will probably never come again. Very good summary of the making of the Faberge eggs and the history surrounding them. It's an engaging story of their journey from treasured gifts to overindulgent trinkets to objects of art worth millions. I only wish this book had been available when I saw the display of American-owned eggs in 1997 in Cleveland, so I would have appreciated more what I was seeing. The chance to see that many at once will probably never come again.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Amy

    I've always been intrigued by Faberge eggs and Russian tsars. This is an excellent, current book about Faberge himself and the czarinas whom he made eggs for each year for many years. It is amazing how so many survived wars, communism, etc. and who owned them after the last tsar and his family were executed. Lots of great pics too. I've always been intrigued by Faberge eggs and Russian tsars. This is an excellent, current book about Faberge himself and the czarinas whom he made eggs for each year for many years. It is amazing how so many survived wars, communism, etc. and who owned them after the last tsar and his family were executed. Lots of great pics too.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Leon

    Interesting bits -- describing the production of Faberge's imperial eggs in the context of the waning days of the Romanov dynasty, and extracting interesting bits about the people who owned and traded the eggs. The surveys of all known Imperial eggs at the back of the book are useful. Wish there were photos of all the eggs. Interesting bits -- describing the production of Faberge's imperial eggs in the context of the waning days of the Romanov dynasty, and extracting interesting bits about the people who owned and traded the eggs. The surveys of all known Imperial eggs at the back of the book are useful. Wish there were photos of all the eggs.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Janet

    After seeing a large exhibition of Faberge items (sans eggs) I wanted to research the Faberge legacy. This is my first forey into their story and I found it fascinating. The book starts with the gift of the eggs to the Czarinas and continues onto where the eggs ended up after the revolution 'til present. After seeing a large exhibition of Faberge items (sans eggs) I wanted to research the Faberge legacy. This is my first forey into their story and I found it fascinating. The book starts with the gift of the eggs to the Czarinas and continues onto where the eggs ended up after the revolution 'til present.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Sanjana Daya

    This book places the intricate masterpieces in their rightful place in history. It tells the unique story of each egg and how they have traveled across seas and nations over the past hundred years. Faberge eggs hold more than just pearl surprises and glorious jewels; they hold stories and lives and unparalleled craftsmanship in each hinge and coil. Priceless.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Amanda Witt

    A very good background of Russian history pre, during and post the 1917 Revolution. Later chapters discuss where the surviving eggs are now, in various collections around the world. The intricate work involved in each egg is amazing to read, and each one for both the Tsarina and her daughter in law had a personal element.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Christine

    Faber seems to lost interest after the fall of the Czars, but who can blame him. It's also rather strange that he seems more concerned about Faberge's sons reaction to their father's activities outside of marriage, and not so much interested in their mother's. Still, it is a rather good book and does flesh out knowledge of the pieces. Faber seems to lost interest after the fall of the Czars, but who can blame him. It's also rather strange that he seems more concerned about Faberge's sons reaction to their father's activities outside of marriage, and not so much interested in their mother's. Still, it is a rather good book and does flesh out knowledge of the pieces.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Megan

    I thought this book was very interesting and I liked how the author used the eggs to tell the story of the Romanovs. My only complaint is that the book should have included more pictures of the various eggs.

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