Tuesday 24th June 2014

In 1885 Tsar Alexander of Russia gave his wife Empress Maria Feodorovna a gift of an egg as a mark of his love to her.  It was essentially an Easter egg but this was an Easter egg like no other. The 1885 Hen Egg marked the beginning of a long standing annual commission (50 in total) from the Russian royal family and also the start of a global love affair with the jeweller Carl Fabergé a love affair which is still going strong today.

Fabergé continued to make the eggs year after year and with each year that passed the more desirable objects from the Fabergé workshop became.  Faberge was becoming a truly global brand coveted throughout the world by the aristocracy and also by the ever growing merchant classes.  Up until 1917 that is.  By this time Fabergé was at the height of production but society was changing and the Russian Revolution effectively closed the house of Fabergé overnight.  What came next was the dismantling and execution of the Russian royal family which in turn saw the Eggs displaced and scattered throughout the western world.

The raiders team took it upon themselves to track the journey of these eggs, to find out their current locations and to find out which were still missing.  During production we contacted Kieran McCarthy of the jewellery firm Wartski to interview and a week later one of the missing Fabergé eggs had been discovered by Kieran himself!  Our team headed to the home of Wartski in Mayfair and had special access to this £20,000,000 treasure.

Our other contributors who guide us on the journey of Fabergé and the royal eggs are Toby Faber author of 'Fabergé's Eggs', Donald Rayfield Professor Emeritus at the University of London, Cynthia Coleman Sparke from the auction house Bonhams and also the author of 'Russian Decorative Arts' and Frances Welch author of 'The Russian Court At Sea'.

Click HERE to watch a preview