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A Russian porcelain Easter egg with a miniature of St. Helena, Equal to the Apostles, Imperial Porcelain Factory, Saint Petersburg, circa 1850. The egg decorated in polychrome enamel with a depiction of Saint Helena, mother of Emperor Constantine & considered Equal to the Apostles, holding a tray with the three nails used at the Crucifixion of Christ & the True Cross, the miniature signed with the Cyrillic initials PA or PD of an unidentified painter &contained within a gilt band with blue circles in imitation of jewels, all reserved against a turquoise blue ground decorated on the reverse with crossed palm leaves within a laurel wreath, the upper aperture with gold lappets against a red ground. Height: 4 1/4″ (10.7 cm).
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