The Woman Who Designed Two Fabergé Imperial Easter Eggs


The renowned Peter Carl Fabergé workshop in St Petersburg, developed and created a total of 50 distinctive handmade bejeweled Easter Eggs for the Russian Royal Household from 1885 – 1917. Fabergé was an astute businessman who utilized some of the finest craftsmen in the sector. He and his staff were given total design freedom and carte blanche to develop the eggs. Every single egg usually took a yr to make.

Alma Pihl was a rarity – one of only two female designers in the company.  Her Finnish grandfather, August Holmström, was Faberge’s lead jeweler. She was the niece of the other feminine designer, Hilma Alina Holmström. Her uncle and brother were being also grasp jewelers.

A pair of many years later, Dr Emanuel Nobel of the Nobel Oil empire, commissioned 40 brooches to be employed as presents.  Alma was inspired by the frost on the window which was backlit by daylight. The end result have been snowflake brooches and that led to a range of attractive frosty types these as this just one :

And this magnificence :

Picture Credit rating : Faberge

The 4-inch significant egg resembles frost on glass and was designed from quartz, platinum and orthoclase. The egg rests on a block of rock crystal carved to glimpse like melting ice with “rivulets’ of diamonds. 1,660 diamonds had been applied for the egg. The miniature surprise flower basket in platinum and gold options even much more diamonds – 1,378 in full. The wood anemone flowers were made from white quartz and rest on gold moss.The leaves were being demantoid. 

The following yr, Alma made the exquisite Mosaic Egg which given to the Tsarina Alexandra. Her mother-in-law’s tapestry was the inspiration. It was a technically complicated venture for the master jewelers, led by Albert Holstrom, Alma’s uncle. Important metals these kinds of as yellow gold and platinum ended up made use of. The pavé set gemstones diversified specified the colours needed for the petit position appear of the structure. These incorporated diamonds, rubies, emerald, topaz, 50 percent pearls, moonstone as effectively as enamel. 
Screen Capture from V&A video clip

This egg is now in the Royal Assortment of Terrific Britain. The video at the stop demonstrates the beautiful details of this egg and its surprise – a cameo brooch on a pedestal that includes the Royal couple’s 5 young children. 

Following the revolution, Alma and her partner fled Russia and lived out their lives in Finland wherever her loved ones at first arrived from. 

Look at this Victoria and Albert Museum video “Fabrege’s Scarce Gem : Alma Pihl” offered by Ulla Tillander-Godenhielm, a Finnish author and scholar,  herself a excellent-granddaughter of St Petersburg goldsmith Alexander Tillander, a provider to the Russian imperial court docket. She has spent a lot of decades finding out the artwork of the St Petersburg jewellers and recounts Alma’s unbelievable story in this limited.

Royal Collection : The Mosaic Imperial Easter Egg introduced by Caroline de Guitart, the Curator of Ornamental Arts. Queen Elizabeth II does not personally have something in the Royal Collection which is held in rely on for her successors and the country.


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