Just in time for the Amazon series about the Romanovs, the last ruling family of imperial Russia, and about those folks who believe they are descended from them, comes the announcement from Rolls-Royce Motor Cars of its very own Fabergé Egg.
That’s right, a Fabergé Egg, as in those opulently bejeweled ornaments that the Russian monarchy had crafted for themselves for Easter during the late 19th Century through 1916, and which have long symbolized unfettered wealth and extravagance. Fifty of them were made, each worth millions today; another two eggs were scheduled for 1918 if that pesky Russian revolution hadn’t crashed the party.
The modern-day Fabergé Egg honors the iconic “Spirit of Ecstasy” that adorns the prow of every Rolls-Royce motorcar, its tiny semblance rendered in frosted crystal and surrounded by gold-and-jeweled vanes that open mechanically to reveal the mascot within.
So how rich is it (pun intended) that the most-prestigious of British automotive companies, now owned by a German automaker, would honor itself with a Fabergé Egg, the very manifestation of excess that so riled the masses in prerevolutionary Russia.
The Rolls-Royce announcement of its Fabergé Egg was issued on the same day that the ultra-exclusive debut party was taking place, October 23, so you had to be in the know to attend. And that date presents another great historic tie-in: the Bolshevik revolution in 1917 happened in late October, which became forever known as Red October.
But hey, if you can have your very own Fabergé Egg, why not? According to the news release, Rolls-Royce teamed with the current Fabergé luxury jewelry maker to craft its egg. Rolls-Royce designers conceived the motif for the egg while a Fabergé designer created the design, which was hand-crafted over the course of two years into “a contemporary interpretation of one of the world’s most fabled and prized possessions.”
Or as Torsten Müller-Ötvös, chief executive of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, commented in the news release: “’The Spirit of Ecstasy’ Fabergé Egg was born from an intrinsic desire to further the realms of Bespoke personalization. Responding to the continuing demands of patrons in search of unique and cherished possessions, a designer at the House of Rolls-Royce sketched an Egg, igniting a fascination that will undoubtedly become one of the most collectable items of modern times.”
The news release goes on to describe the Egg in great detail:
“The Egg rests on an engine-turned, hand-engraved, purple enamel guilloché base of 18 karat white gold. Arms of rose gold define the shape of the Egg, acting as a protective chamber for the Egg’s precious inhabitant.
“Upon operating the movement via a discreet lever at the base of the stand, a sense of theatre ensues as the boughs open to present the fine figurine of the Spirit of Ecstasy, hand-sculpted in frosted rock crystal, standing nobly in her opulent surrounds.
“The rose gold vanes, embellished with nearly 10 carats of round white diamonds, resolve into swathes of natural amethyst weighing over 390 carats, specially selected for its colour saturation and quality. The purple hue of the enamel and amethyst provide a playful nod to the use of colour found in Fabergé’s heritage.”
The mechanical elements of the Rolls-Royce Egg are also quite something, the release says, “conceived through computer-aided design and animation, developed with micro engineering.”
“The success of this mechanism, and in turn the piece as a whole, can be attributed to the goldsmiths’ art as craftspeople and their ability to meld this skill with technology, creating a work of art that could not be created by man alone,” according to the release. “The piece embodies both the artistic design and engineering skill that one expects from a collaboration between Rolls-Royce and Fabergé, and has probably the most complicated opening of any Fabergé Egg to date.”
Not surprisingly, no price tag is given for this one-of-a-kind piece of decorative artwork, but in a world of $70 million Ferrari 250 GTOs and $110 million Jean-Michel Basquiat paintings, there are more than enough wealthy folk ready and able to plunk down seven figures for the one-and-only Rolls-Royce Fabergé Egg.
“The Egg is destined for the residence of a great collector of both brands,” the release predicts.
Meanwhile, the Egg will be on display in Fabergé’s London window through the Christmas holidays.
Oh, and in the near future, watch for the inevitable cheap knockoffs of the Rolls-Royce Fabergé Egg being hawked on eBay and Craig’s List.