Twelve Monograms (Fabergé egg)
|Twelve Monograms/Alexander III Portraits Fabergé egg|
|Individual or institution||Hillwood Museum|
|Design and materials|
The Twelve Monograms egg, also known as the Alexander III Portraits Egg, is a jewelled Easter egg made under the supervision of the Russian jeweller Peter Carl Fabergé in 1896 for Tsar Nicholas II of Russia. It was presented by Nicholas II to his mother, the Dowager Empress Maria Feodorovna. The egg was the second Fabergé egg ever given by Nicholas II to his mother as an Easter present.
This egg is one of four commemorating Tsar Alexander III. The other three are the missing Empire Nephrite (1902) and Alexander III Commemorative (1909) eggs, and the Alexander III Equestrian Egg (1910).
Each panel of the egg contains a Cyrillic cipher of Alexander III and Maria Fedorovna, set and crowned in diamonds, set against the dark blue enamel with a design of red gold, rose-cut diamonds, portrait diamonds and velvet lining. It is covered by six panels each divided by bands set with rose-cut diamonds and decorated with the Imperial crown and Imperial monograms (MF) "Maria Fyodorovna" and (AIII) "Alexander III". Each monogram appears six times, with Maria's monogram appearing on the top half of the egg and Alexander's appearing on the bottom.
For a long time, this egg was thought to have been the 1892 gift for Alexander III and Maria's 25th wedding anniversary. It was also incorrectly believed to be the Imperial Easter Egg of 1895.
An allegedly-missing Fabergé egg known from its description as the Alexander III Portraits Egg was previously thought to be the Imperial Easter egg from 1895 in the Maria Feodorovna series.
However, following the 2012 rediscovery of the 1887 Third Imperial Egg, announced to the world in March 2014, and the reassignment of the Blue Serpent Clock Egg as the 1895 Imperial Easter egg, it became clear that the "missing" Imperial Easter egg identified in the series as the Alexander III Portraits Egg must be the extant Twelve Monograms Egg of 1896.
The surprise for this egg is missing. It is believed that this egg contained six miniatures of Alexander III painted on an ivory background and mounted with sapphires.
- http://www.wintraecken.nl/mieks/faberge/eggs/1896_Alexander_III_Monogram_Egg.htm 1896 Twelve Monogram Egg / Alexander III Portraits Egg], Mieks Fabergé Eggs.
- Website by Annemiek Wintraecken, details on each of the Fabergé Eggs
- Hillwood Estate, Museum & Gardens - Twelve Monogram Egg
- Von Habsburg, Geza (2011). Fabergé Revealed. ISBN 9780847837380. p. 29, note 62.
- Lowes, Will; McCanless, Christel Ludewig (2001). Fabergé Eggs: A Retrospective Encyclopedia. Scarecrow Press. ISBN 978-0-8108-3946-5.
- Odom, Anne and Arend, Liana Paredes (1998). A Taste for Splendor: Russian Imperial and European Treasures from the Hillwood Museum. Alexandria, VA: Art Services International. ISBN 9780965495820
- Odom, Anne and Salmond, Wendy R. eds. (2009). Treasures into Tractors: The Selling of Russia's Cultural Heritage, 1918-1938. Washington, D.C.: University of Washington Press. ISBN 9781931485074
- Rubin Stuart, Nancy (1995). American Empress: The Life and Times of Marjorie Merriweather Post. New York: Villard. ISBN 0-679-41347-2.