The 1890 Fabergé Danish Palaces Egg - The Miniatures Explained
In November 2008 I received an interesting email question from a Danish visitor to this website. Christian Steener Eriksen from Copenhagen asked me why I had listed for the third panel from the left, Hvidøre, the house in Denmark to which the Dowager Empress retired after the 1917 Revolution. He explained the problem was that the Danish Palaces Egg was made in 1890 and the Empress and her sister only bought the house in 1906!
This was an interesting question indeed! I had assumed my Fabergé books had the right descriptions of the miniatures, but this was definitely an error!
Christian came up with a suggestion of what house it could be on the third panel, and I searched the Internet and found it! And what is more, I found the very image that probably was used as a model by Krijitski to paint the miniature!
To be sure I now had all descriptions for the Fabergé miniatures correct, I searched for the other seven buildings and two ships too.
Here are all ten Fabergé miniatures:
From left to right:
1. The Imperial yacht "Polar Star",
2. Bernstorff Castle
3. The Emperor Villa in Fredensborg Park
4. Fredensborg Slot - Copenhagen
5. Amalienborg - Copenhagen
6. Kronborg Castle near the city of Helsingør
7. Cottage Palace Alexandria Park Peterhof (Russia)
8. Cottage Palace Alexandria Park Peterhof - back view
9. Gatchina Palace Saint Petersburg (Russia)
10. The Imperial yacht "Tsarevna"
And below, the same ten Fabergé miniatures, now with images and sources of the buildings and yachts added to verify my findings.
1. Yacht Polyarnaya Zvezda - Polar Star - Source: http://www.yachtstandart.com. Great website about the Imperial Yacht Standart!
2. Bernstorff Palace - Entrance.
3. Kejserens Villa in Fredensborg Park - right the same image in a 1889 Danish publication that must have been the source for the miniature! Read more on the Emperor's Villa on a separate page!
4. Fredensborg Palace viewed from the "Marble Garden". Photo: Http://www.ses.dk
5. Amalienborg Palace - Schacks Palace.
The Amalienborg consists of four (small) and almost identical palaces, that encircle an octagonal courtyard. They were originally built for four noble families - the one depicted, is the one Countess Schack bought. When the royal Palace, the Christiansborg, eventually burnt to the ground, the royal family took over the four Amalienborg Palaces. The Crown Prince, later Frederik VI, was the first royal inhabitant, and later Dagmar's parents King Christian IX and Queen Louise resided in the Palace. After the death of Christian IX the palace was not used until the present Queen received it at the time of her marriage. Photo: http://www.ses.dk/389655f0:
6. Kronborg Castle. Photo: http://www.ses.dk/13e000c
7. Cottage Palace - Peterhof Alexandreskii Park.
The cottage was designed by architect A. Menelase in the so-called "Gothic" style, and built in the years 1826-1829. The palace was the summer residence of Tsar Alexander I and his wife Alexandra Feodorovna (the great parents of Alexander III). Badly damaged in the Second World War, restored in 1978, the cottage is now a museum.
8. Cottage Palace, facade overlooking the Gulf of Finland. Images of the interior of the cottage can be seen on the forum of the Alexander Palace website: http://forum.alexanderpalace.org/index.php?topic=3068.0
9. Gatchina Palace. Read more about this palace on the page of the Gatchina Palace Egg.
10. Imperial Yacht Tsarevna - http://www.yachtstandart.com
Old postcards of the Emperor's villa in 1905 and 1911:
http://www.minsamling.dk/postkortmine.htm (Cards no. 64 and 65)
Images of Peterhof, including the Cottage Palace:
http://almanachtur.ru/forum/showthread.php?t=334 (in Russian)
More images of the Cottage Palace by Peter Sobolev - Wandering Camera:
My thanks to Christian Steener Eriksen for asking the question about Hvidøre, and for being a great help in finding the right Danish Palaces and adding some background information. Christian also helped me with the translation of the Danish text on the pdf document on the Emperor's villa that you can see on the next page. Read more on the Emperor's Villa!
I later learned two Russian ladies had written a book about the favorite residences of the Empress for whom the Danish Palaces Egg was made, and where the Emperor's Villa is described in detail. It is a great book I wholeheartedly recommend.
A must-have for anyone interested in the mansions on this Egg:
Korneva, Galina and Tatiana Cheboksarova. Любимые резиденции императрицы Марии Федоровны в России и Дании - Empress Maria Feodorovna's Favorite Residences in Russia and in Denmark.
Profusely illustrated scholarly book depicting in detail the palaces known from the miniatures of Danish Palaces Egg.
Three separate editions were published between 2006 and 2008 in Russian, English and Danish. (Courtesy Fabergé Research Site Newsletter Spring 2009).
March 8, 2010