Tuesday, 1 February 2011

FABERGE'S EGGS Book review

For many people the pinnacle of the jeweller's art has to be the Fabergé imperial eggs. These Easter gifts, which Russia's last two tsars gave to their tsarinas, have become synonymous with privilege, beauty and an almost provocative uselessness. Above all, the eggs illustrate the attitudes that would ultimately lead to the downfall of the Romanovs: their apparent indifference to the poverty that choked their country, and their preference for style over substance. This superb new account of a classic tragedy illuminates some fascinating aspects of 20th century history. The eggs' amazing journey from revolutionary Russia features a cast of characters including embattled Bolsheviks, acquisitive British royals, eccentric artefact salesmen and such famous business and society figures as Marjorie Merriweather Post and Malcolm Forbes. The author also tantalisingly suggests that some of the eggs, long thought lost, may eventually emerge. 302 pages with b/w archive and colour plates, family trees, full listing of the imperial eggs. Published price: $30.00 Bibliophile price: £12.50

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