The history of the Faberge` Egg
The first Faberge` Egg was crafted and delivered in 1885 to the then-Tsar of Russia, Alexander III. The tsarina and tsar enjoyed the egg so much that Alexander III ordered a new Faberge` egg for his wife each Easter.
"First Hen Egg"
This is the first in a series of fifty-two jeweled eggs made for the Russian Imperial family. The egg is made of gold, completely coated with opaque white enamel to look like a real egg shell. A thin band of gold where the two halves of the shell are joined is visible around the middle of the egg. It is 2 1/2 in. in length and 1 3/8 in. in width. The two halves of the outer shell fit together in a bayonet-style fitting which opens when twisted to reveal the surprise... a gold yolk with a matte finish, containing a varicolored gold hen with ruby eyes.
The hen is hinged on the tail feathers which allows it to also open up to reveal two additional surprises which are now missing. The first of these was a gold and diamond replica of the imperial crown. Suspended within the crown as the final surprise was a tiny ruby pendant. A necklace chain was included so the Tsarina could wear the pendant.
The egg is currently located in Russia as part of the Vekselberg Collection.
42 eggs out of 50 have survived, all made of precious metals or hard stones decorated with combination of enamel and gem stones.
Here are pictures of other Faberge Eggs. There was always a surprise inside.