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Old World Christmas

Adding Old-World Christmas Glamour with Fabergé Egg Ornaments
old world Christmas
Christmas celebrations as we know them have a couple of shared elements: stockings by the fire, Santa Claus visits, decorating a tree, sharing a large feast with family and friends, hanging wreaths and mistletoe. None of these old world Christmas elements are new—many stretch back to the medieval period in Europe, while a few are relics from the ancient Greeks, Romans, and Druids. What better way to celebrate Christmas than remembering the ancient tradition of these cultures? One way to pay tribute to these old world Christmas traditions of previous years is through something as simple as tree ornaments. In particular, Russian Fabergé egg ornaments can help you achieve that old world Christmas charm without having to break the bank.

 

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Fabergé egg ornaments are a relatively new addition to Christmas tree décor, but the origin of the Fabergé egg is over a century old. Originally made by the House of Fabergé starting in 1885. As a tribute to Russia’s Easter tradition of dying eggs red, and it’s old world Christmas tradition of painting wooden eggs, Fabergé eggs were a reminder of the holiday season, only in spectacular detail. Most of these gilt and jeweled eggs were produced for the members of the Russian court, and were worn around the neck on long chains. But the House of Fabergé did produce 50 eggs meant to be objets d’art for the Tsars of Russia, specifically Alexander III and Nicholas II.


The first Fabergé egg wasn’t meant as an homage to old world Russian Christmases so much as it was a testament to Easter. To celebrate the 20th anniversary of their proposal, Tsar Alexander III gave his wife Empress Maria Fedorovna a white enameled egg “shell” that opened to reveal a gold yolk. Inside the yolk was a gold hen, that opened to reveal a diamond replica of the Imperial Crown. This was particularly precious to Maria, who had enjoyed many old world Christmas celebrations with her aunt, Princess Wilhelmine Maria, who had a collection of chickens on her palace grounds. The memories of those old holidays in Denmark made a strong impression on Maria Fedorovna, which Tsar Alexander wished to celebrate.


Of the original 50 Fabergé eggs, only 42 have survived, and by analyzing these eggs it’s clear that they are a far cry from the more humble “old world” red eggs used by the Russian peasants to celebrate Easter and Christmas. Instead of decorating eggs, Fabergé took enamel, gold, and silver to create egg-like shapes, then decorated them with the same paints, metals, and precious gems.
Today, the House of Fabergé is still making Fabergé eggs, only on a much more humble scale than their Imperial counterparts. And recently, the House of Fabergé released a limited edition of Fabergé egg ornaments, so people throughout the world can enjoy the old world Christmas magic of a Russian Christmas. You can buy Fabergé egg ornaments on the internet at specialty stores, or by ordering them from stores that specialize in Fabergé eggs.