This large and very rare Imperial presentation porcelain Easter egg was made at the Imperial Porcelain Factory in Saint Petersburg between 1883 and 1894.
Both sides of the egg are embellished with etched and gilded cipher A III in Old Slavonic style of Emperor Alexander III. The gilded rosette at the upper opening is centered with a cross surrounded by an Old Russian style design.
Height 4 1/4 in. (11 cm).
Similar egg is published in Russian Imperial Porcelain Easter Eggs by Tamara Kudriavtseva and Harold A. Whitbeck, Nr. 5, page 38.
Since ancient times the egg has been a symbol of life, death, and immortality. In Russia, eggs traditionally are associated with celebration of Easter. Since the 18th century, the Imperial Porcelain Factory supplied the Court with porcelain eggs primarily painted with religious subjects or floral designs, but only during the reign of Alexander III, first eggs with ciphers of the Emperor and Empress were created. Such eggs were given by Sovereigns personally to those close to the Royal Family on Easter day.
Condition: minor rubbing to gilt, mostly to the star rosette at the lower opening.