Saturday, May 16, 2009

The Duchess of Marlborough Faberge Egg



Beautiful nineteen-year old Consuelo Vanderbilt, granddaughter of the great Cornelius, could hardly stop crying on her wedding day. She was in love with Winthrop Rutherford, but her mother had made her marry the Duke of Marlborough. This meant that she'd have to leave her own country and live with someone she hardly knew and didn't find impressive.

She found success as a Duchess and grew to love England, but not her husband! She visited Russia and dined with the Tsar himself at the Bal des Palmiers. Although Princess Alexandra's Faberge collection didn't impress her very much, she must have liked Grand Duchess Vladimir's and the Dowager Empress's collections. The former Empress's collection included a Blue Serpent Clock Egg.

Soon afterwards the Duchess commissioned a large egg from Faberge. She was the only American to commission a large egg from them. It is believed to have cost over 5000 rubles.

This beautiful ornament, a clock in the shape of an Easter egg, was crafted by Michael Perchin, who was inspired by a Louis XVI clock. The egg is coloured in translucent pink, white and gold with a diamond-encrusted serpent surrounding it. It features the diamond-set monogram of Consuelo - the initials CM under a ducal crown.

After her divorce from the Duke Consuelo gave this to a charity auction in 1926 where it was bought by the Polish soprano, Ganna Walska. This was the first Faberge Easter egg that Malcolm Forbes bought. In 2004 it was sold to Vekselberg.

3 comments:

Ms. Lucy said...

I just find this the ultimate collector's dream...so totally Royal, don't you think?

Viola said...

I agree, Ms.Lucy! I was looking at Consuelo's autobiography, 'The Glitter and the Gold' and I got the impression that she really wasn't all that keen on most Faberge items, surprisingly. She didn't like Princess Alexandra's collection much.

I don't know how she could bear to part with this egg!

Matterhorn said...

So beautiful and luminous. Yes, I don't know how she could have given it up, either!

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