The Big Egg Hunt

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The Great Eggscape by Alexander Williams.

The Big Egg Hunt, also known as the Faberge Big Egg Hunt, was a 2012 charity fundraising campaign, in aid of Action for Children and Elephant Family, and sponsored by the jeweler Faberge. The two charities backed the largest ever Easter egg hunt, known as The Big Egg Hunt, in London in the Spring of 2012. Around 200 artists, celebrities and designers created and painted meter high fibreglass eggs which were scattered across selected locations around London. Londoners had forty days from 21 February 2012 to locate the various giant eggs around the capital.[1]


The event followed the Elephant Parade of 2010, organised by Mark Shand and Ruth Powys of Elephant Family, which saw 260 decorated fibreglass elephants installed throughout London. Elephant Parade raised around £4m for elephant related charities through sponsorship and by selling the individual works of art at auction.[2] The top price paid for a decorated elephant was £155,000 for Jack Vettriano's The Singing Butler Rides Again.[3] Elephant Parade was itself inspired by Cow Parade, which had its beginnings in Switzerland in 1998 but has since spread around the world.


The Big Egg Hunt was first launched in November 2011 by food writer Tom Parker Bowles, who created a special "Eggs Faberge" breakfast for the celebrities in attendance. The metre-high eggs were then distributed to various artists and designers. Among the artists contributing designs were Sir Peter Blake, Polly Morgan, The Chapman Brothers, Vivienne Westwood, Giles Deacon, Zandra Rhodes, Diane Von Furstenberg, Sophie Dahl, Martin Aveling, cartoonist Alex Williams and film director Sir Ridley Scott [4][5]

On 21 February 2012 the Big Egg hunt went "live", with over 200 eggs being distributed throughout the capital, in what has been billed as the world's largest ever Easter egg hunt. Each egg displays a unique code which allows participants in the egg hunt the opportunity to win a so-called Diamond Jubilee egg, crafted by Faberge and worth over £100,000.[6]

Eggs go missing[edit]

On 25 February it was reported that two of the eggs had gone missing, presumed to have been stolen. The event organisers appealed for their safe return.[7] The two missing eggs were the "Egg Letter Box" created by Benjamin Shine, located on Carnaby Street, and "Hatch" created by artist Natasha Law.[8] Law's egg was recovered by police a few hours later, but had been damaged and was in need of repairs.[9] Following the theft, Elephant Family founder Mark Shand was reported as saying that the other eggs had been secured and were now "unstealable".[10] On 28 February it was reported in the Evening Standard that the "Egg Letter Box" had also been recovered by the Police.[11]

One egg, the "sub-terra" egg designed by theme park Alton Towers to promote its "Nemesis" ride, was rejected by a number of locations for being too scary[12]

Charity auction[edit]

Around 30 of the eggs were auctioned on 20 March in front of a celebrity audience at the Royal Courts of Justice, where a grand total of £667,000 was raised for the two charities. Marc Quinn’s egg sold for £40,000 and that of architect Zaha Hadid raised £45,000. A chocolate egg set a record for the world's most expensive chocolate egg.[13]

The remaining eggs were auctioned on line, with bids closing at 5pm on Monday 9 April 2012.[14] From 3 to 9 April all the eggs were displayed together, in Covent Garden, for the first and last time.

World record[edit]

On Easter Sunday Guinness World Records announced that a new title had been achieved for the most participants in an Easter egg hunt. More than 12,000 people took part in the charity fundraiser.[15][16]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Sinmaz, Emine, Evening Standard, Wednesday 18 January 2012]
  2. ^ Jury, Louise, Evening Standard 22 November 2011 Retrieved January 2012
  3. ^ Allen, Felix, Evening Standard, 1 July 2010 Retrieved February 2012
  4. ^ Retrieved February 2012
  5. ^ Retrieved February 2012
  6. ^ The Times, Tuesday 21 February 2012
  7. ^ Eggs Missing Retrieved February 2012
  8. ^ 25 February 2012 Retrieved February 2012
  9. ^ UK Press Association 26 February 2012 Retrieved February 2012
  10. ^ Retrieved February 2012
  11. ^ Evening Standard, 28 February 2012
  12. ^ Retrieved March 2012
  13. ^ Evening Standard 21 March 2012 Retrieved 22 March 2012
  14. ^ Big Egg Hunt Auction Retrieved February 2012
  15. ^ Retrieved February 2012
  16. ^ ITV news 8 April 2012 Retrieved April 2012


External links[edit]