Easter Egg with Cathedral and Cross. Period of Nicholas II. 1894 to 1917.
Cut and etched into the surface of this egg is the Cathedral of the Dormition in the Kremlin, Moscow where the coronations of all Russian Tsars took place. The last such ceremony took place in 1896 with the crowning of Nicholas II and Empress Alexandra. It is entirely possible this egg was made to commemorate that event.
According to the belief system of the Russian Orthodox Church, the rites and ceremonies performed at the coronation conferred on the Tsar the divine authority with which to rule, a mystical marriage of Church and State. Once crowned, the Tsar became the defender of the faith in much the same way that Queen Elizabeth II is the same for the Church of England today.
The cross on the rear of this egg is of an unusual design. It is made up of the letters IXC, the Cyrillic abbreviation for the name Jesus Christ, surrounded by four concave lenses, surrounded by radiant lines. With an image of the Dormition from the opposite side appearing in each of the lenses, the Russian Orthodox Church becomes the centre from which Christianity radiates out into the world. This is in keeping with the belief that the Russian Orthodox Church was the third great Christian empire after Rome and Byzantium.
Blown glass with cutting, grinding, etching and polishing.
9.4 cm in height.