Now THAT Is An Easter Egg!
Rolls-Royce aficionados may remember that, a little over 18 months ago, the luxury British carmaker unveiled the ‘Spirit of Ecstasy Fabergé Egg’, the latest in a long line of hyper-exclusive one-offs for its discerning – read ‘lucrative’ – clients. And for this holiday weekend, Rolls-Royce has unveiled a set of previously-unseen images of the object d’art.
As one would expect of Britain’s palatial-esque carmaker, the Spirit of Ecstasy Fabergé Egg is the real multi-million-dollar McCoy. Standing just 160mm tall, weighs only 400g, and stands atop an engine-turned, hand-engraved, purple enamel guilloché adorned with 18 karat white gold. Operate a ‘discreet lever’ in said base and the rose gold vanes of the egg, each of which is embellished with nearly 10 carats of round white diamonds, will open to reveal a representation of Rolls-Royce’s Spirit of Ecstasy. The good lady herself has been hand-sculpted, naturally, and is crafted from frosted rock crystal.
This is no standard Kinder egg we’re talking about here.
So precise and meticulous is the work, and so closely have Rolls-Royce and Fabergé collaborated on this project, the Spirit of Ecstasy Fabergé Egg is only the second example to be officially recognised as an ‘Imperial’ Easter Egg since the original collection was created for Russia’s Imperial family between 1885 and 1916.
Yes, you did read that correctly. Turns out ‘Easter Eggs’ have come quite some way in the last century.
In 1885, Emperor Alexander III of Russia wished to gift the Empress Maria Feodorovna a something truly unique for that year’s Easter holiday. Discount perfume or a chocolate egg from the gas station not exactly being his forte, the Emperor instead commissioned St Petersburg’s House of Fabergé to create a truly one-of-a-kind Easter Egg. One crafted from gold, festooned with jewels, and which, when opened, revealed a yellow-gold yolk and a golden hen. The latter in turn concealed a tiny diamond replica of the Imperial crown, from which a small ruby pendant was suspended.
So chuffed was the Emperor, that he commissioned a further nine bespoke examples in the company years, while his successor, Tsar Nicholas II, requested 40 in total. Sadly, many of these 50 were lost during the Revolution in 1917.
Surprise surprise, the example you see above is a one-of-one, designed exclusively for a discerning patron of both the House of Fabergé and Rolls-Royce. The value? No idea, nor indeed is that ever likely to be made public knowledge. Bear in mind that the Third Imperial Fabergé Egg, the lineage of which dates back to 1887, was sold at auction in London in 2014 for a stomach ulcer-inducing $33 million USD.
*Images courtesy of Rolls-Royce. We’d also like to wish all of our readers a very Happy Easter, and hope you enjoy your eggs, chocolate, bejewelled or otherwise.