Duchess of Marlborough (Fabergé egg)

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Duchess of Marlborough Fabergé egg
Duchess of Marlborough egg.jpg
Year delivered 1902
Customer Consuelo, Duchess of Marlborough
Current owner
Individual or institution Viktor Vekselberg's
Link of Times foundation
Year of acquisition 2004
Design and materials
Workmaster Michael Perchin

The Duchess of Marlborough egg, also known as the Pink Serpent egg,[1] is a jewelled enameled Easter egg made by Michael Perchin under the supervision of the Russian jeweller Peter Carl Fabergé in 1902.[2]

The Duchess of Marlborough Egg is the only large Fabergé egg to have been commissioned by an American, and it is inspired by a Louis XVI clock with a revolving dial. It is similar to the earlier imperial Blue Serpent Clock Egg.[2]


The egg was made for Consuelo Vanderbilt, who became the Duchess of Marlborough in 1895 when she married Charles Spencer-Churchill, 9th Duke of Marlborough.[2]

In 1902, the Duchess and her husband travelled to Russia, where they dined with Tsar Nicholas II of Russia and visited his mother, the Dowager Empress Maria Feodorovna at the Anichkov Palace. During this visit, the Duchess would have almost certainly seen the Dowager Empress' large collection of Fabergé items, which perhaps inspired her to order this egg.[2] The egg is believed to have cost over 5,000 rubles.[2]

After her divorce from the Duke of Marlborough, she donated the Duchess of Marlborough Egg to a charity auction in 1926. The egg was bought by Ganna Walska, the second wife of Harold Fowler McCormick, chairman of the International Harvester Company of Chicago.[2] At the 1965 Parke-Bernet auction of her property, it was bought by Malcolm Forbes. It was the first of several Fabergé eggs that Forbes purchased.[2]

In 2004, it was sold as part of the Forbes Collection to Viktor Vekselberg. Vekselberg also purchased nine Imperial Easter eggs, as part of the collection, for almost $100 million.[3] The egg is now housed in Vekselberg's Fabergé Museum in Saint Petersburg, Russia.


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