One of the major publications which inspired the Russian Revival, was Victor Butovsky's Histoire de l'Ornement Russe du Xe au XVIe Siecle d'apres les Manuscrits published
in 1870. The book reproduced hundreds of Russian medieval ornaments, and
revived a great interest in ancient Russian decorative art. In
the years that followed the publication, all major Russian jewelry and
silversmith firms started experimenting with ancient enameling
techniques. In the 1870-1880s, champleve
enamel medieval-style designs were especially popular.
The design of this miniature gold egg was clearly inspired by motifs of medieval Russia.
Height (without suspension ring) - 20 mm (3/4 in.)
suspension ring is struck with 56 zolotniks gold standard mark (after
1882) and initials 'E K' for Faberge head workmaster of that period -
Erik Kollin (1836-1901), who specialized in Revivalist gold objects.
The smaller ring is stamped with 56 gold mark, of which only '5'
The blue, orange, and green are translucent
enamels, which were applied over an engine-turned ground. The white and
black are opaque enamels.
Enamel work is very elaborate, considering the small size of the egg.
is an enameling technique, in which decorations are carved into the
surface of a metal object and filled with enamel (glass powder). The
piece is then fired until the enamel melts, and after cooling, the
surface is polished.
The width of the colored stripes is only
1 mm (1/25 in.). It would require a great skill to engine-turn
the bottom of those tiny carved channels with a zig-zag pattern.