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The Grand Duke Egg – From Nut to Creation

Theo Fabergé always enjoyed turning wood on his Holtzapffel lathe. The lathe, originally built in 1860, was purchased by Theo. He spent two years restoring the lathe before he started making beautiful objects and winning the ultimate world prize for ornamental turning.

Theo chose so many woods to turn, but one of the more unusual woods he chose was for the Grand Duke Egg. It is in fact made from an Australian Banksia Nut. The nut weighing approximately three quarters of a kilo (approximately one and three quarter pounds) has holes where the seeds have exploded out of the main nut. This only happens if the nut catches fire. The very top of the nut is like velvet while the rest of the nut is very hard indeed.

The nut is turned on the lathe to the egg-shape, then beautifully polished. Added to the banksia nut is the base turned on the Holtzapffel lathe. Theo loved making these beautiful patterned bases. The Egg is offset with a finial set with a cabochon ruby.

The surprise within is a pomander cleverly made using the naturally produced holes in the shell of the Egg. The Egg is lined with a golden cup upon which rests a burgundy cushion impregnated with a special fragrance No 127 from the Court Perfumes in London. This perfume was specially created for Grand Duke Orloff in 1890.

Each Egg is accompanied by a golden solid wooden carriage case with Theo Fabergé’s signature and a certificate of authenticity.

Limited edition: 150 worldwide
Height: 160mm

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