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Nearly 200 Fabergé pieces, including rare Fabergé eggs, are on display at the Palace Museum in China’s Forbidden City until July.
The Fabergé collection has travelled from the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts to China as part of a seven-year partnership between the two museums. It is the first US exhibition to take place at the Palace Museum and will offer visitors an unprecedented opportunity to view the largest public collection of Fabergé pieces outside of Russia.
The bejewelled treasures include four of the 43 known Fabergé Easter eggs created for the Russian Imperial family, as well as frames, animals, flowers, and cane and parasol handles. VMFA director Alex Nyerges said: “The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts is honoured to share its Fabergé treasures with Beijing and to be the first US museum to exhibit works from our permanent collection at the Palace Museum.”
The majority of the objects were donated to the VMFA by Lillian Thomas Pratt in 1947 and now form part of its permanent collection. Michael Taylor, chief curator and deputy director for art and education, said: “Mrs Pratt spent a large sum of money on the five imperial Easter eggs that she owned, four of which are included in this exhibition.”
The partnership between the two museums began in 2011 and has already seen the Palace Museum share its collections with the VMFA during the “Forbidden City: Imperial Treasures from the Palace Museum” exhibition in 2014.
A star-shaped Fabergé frame with a portrait of a grand duchess, which is thought to be the only remaining possession brought into exile with the Imperial family.
The hunt for the last Fabergé eggs continues, but the recently discovered Third Imperial Egg will be on display at Court Jewellers Wartski in April.