Priceless Faberge Eggs Stolen From St. Petersburg Residence

Two authentic Faberge eggs as well as a painting by the well known Russian artist Ivan Aivazovksy have been stolen from a successful collector’s home in St. Petersburg. The flat of Vladimir Mukhin, 57, was robbed between September 8 and 10. The thieves escaped with several millions roubles in foreign currency, jewelry, several paintings and two Faberge eggs, decorated with, enamel, gold and precious stones. It was reported by the owner to the police on today.  Vladimir Mukhin claims to have lost 5 million roubles (around $157,000), around $30,000, and 3000 euro in cash along with several rare coins. Police are assessing the exact sum of the collector’s loss.

During his lifetime, the artist Ivan Aivazovsky produced over 6,000 canvases, ranging from his early landscapes of the Crimean countryside to the seascapes and coastal scenes for which he is most famous. Aivazovsky was especially effective at developing the play of light in his paintings, sometimes applying layers of color to create a transparent quality, a technique for which they are highly admired.
 Although he produced many portraits and landscapes, over half of all of Aivazovsky’s paintings are realistic depictions of coastal scenes and seascapes. He is most remembered for his beautifully melodramatic renditions of the seascapes of which he painted the most. Many of his later works depict the painful heartbreak of soldiers at battle or lost at sea, with a soft celestial body taunting of hope from behind the clouds. His artistic technique centers on his ability to render the realistic shimmer of the water against the light of the subject in the painting, be it the full moon, the sunrise, or battleships in flames. Many of his paintings also illustrate his adeptness at filling the sky with light, be it the diffuse light of a full moon through fog, or the orange glow of the sun gleaming through the clouds.Painter Ivan Aivazovsky is internationally respected. Earlier this year a 1856 work ‘View of Constantinople and the Bosphorus’ has sold for record $5.2 million at Sotheby’s.

Faberge eggs were first produced In 1885 for Tsar Alexander III, who commissioned them from the Royal jeweller, Peter Carl Faberge’s workshop. They were created as a special Easter present for his wife, Maria Fedorovna.  This was a special gift produced for the most important holiday on the Russian Orthodox calendar. This elaborate egg contained many surprises. The so-called “Hen Egg” opened to reveal a ruby contained in a small replica of a crown, which was then nestled in a gold chicken resting in a golden yolk. Maria Fedorovna was delighted by this gift. After Alexander’s death in 1894, his son Nicholas II assumed the throne and continued the Faberge egg tradition, this time ordering two eggs-one for his mother, Maria Fedorovna, and one for his German wife, Alexandra Fedorovna. Faberge’s workshop would continue to produce Faberge eggs until 1917 The Faberge eggs are also a rarity as the studio only produced them between 1885 and 1917. The most expensive egg was manufactured in 1913 and would be valued at tens of millions today. The image illustrated is not representitive of the actual Faberge Eggs stolen. The Russian police have yet to release the photo.


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