A Russian porcelain Easter egg, Imperial Porcelain Factory, St. Petersburg, circa 1900-1910. Painted with swags of pale blue roses and gilt leaves suspended from pale blue ribbons and bow knots, with a fine gilt band about the upper aperture. Height 3 3/8 in. (8.6 cm).
Empress Alexandra Feodorovna was particularly fond of eggs in the so-called “swag style,” indeed; presentation eggs with her cypher offered some of the most interesting examples of ornament of the period. Combinations of rosebuds, forget-me-nots, swags, festoons, and bowknots clearly rely upon the graphic designs of the Mir iskusstva group and other leading Russian artists inspired by 18th-century design. The same motifs were also painted on eggs without the Imperial cypher as well and this egg is a particularly fine example with its combination of bowknots and roses. For other examples of Imperial porcelain eggs in this style, see Tamara Kudriavtseva and Harold Whitbeck, Russian Imperial Porcelain Easter Eggs. Russkie imperatorskie farforovye paskhal’nye iaitsa (London: Merrell, 2001), nos. 214-217 and 219, pp. 260-263.
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