When Czarina Maria Feodorovna opened the plain white enameled egg on that early Easter day, she was met with a series of delightful surprises.
First, she found a round yolk made entirely of gold. That opened to reveal a beautiful gold hen with ruby red eyes. The midsection of the hen swung up, and inside was a small, diamond-encrusted replica of a royal crown and a tiny, delicate ruby egg.
Take a peek, Fabergé has a slide show of a few of the eggs. Kind of takes the thrill out of your Cadbury Creme, your Kinder Surprise.
After the fall of the Romanov dynasty, the royal art collections were plundered. The stunning Easter eggs, save one ferried away by the fleeing Dowager Empress Maria Feodorovna, were packed up and taken to Moscow, stashed away in a dark corner of the Kremlin Armory.
Empires fall, eggs break. Or, in this case, are sold off by Stalin to fund the regime.
Allison McNearny describes the intricate creations, their history, and the accidental discovery of one lost egg at The Daily Beast.