1900 Trans-Siberian Railway Egg
II to Alexandra Fyodorovna
Made in Saint Petersburg
Owner: Kremlin Armoury Museum, Moscow
Height: 26 cm
The 1900 Trans-Siberian Railway Egg is made of gold, silver, green, blue and orange enamel, onyx and velvet for lining. The Miniature train is made of gold, platinum, rose-cut diamonds, rubies, and rock crystal.
The silver Egg with a hinged lid decorated with colored enamel and mounted on an onyx base. A map of Russia is engraved with the route of the Trans-Siberian Railway on the central silver section, which also bears the inscription "The route of the Grand Siberian Railway in the year 1900." The lid of the Egg is hinged, has an overlay of green enamel, and is decorated with inlaid leaves of acanthus. A three-sided heraldic eagle in silver and gold plate rises from the lid, bearing a crown. The Egg is supported by three griffins cast in gold-plated silver, each brandishing a sword and shield. The stepped base is of white onyx in the form of a triangle with concave sides and rounded corners. A gold-plated silver braid is inlaid into the base. A working model of the train was inserted into the Egg section by section. It consists of a platinum locomotive with a ruby lantern and rosette headlights and of five gold coaches with windows of rock crystal. The coaches are marked "mail", "for ladies only", "smoking", and "non-smoking". The last coach is designated "chapel". The train was wound up with a golden key.
Nicholas II, as the Tsarevich, layed the foundations for work on the construction of the Siberian Railway, when he and his brother George reached Vladivostok on the final part of their overseas journey in 1890 - 1891. Tsar Alexander III had sent his two elder sons on a voyage to the Far East to broaden their outlook. (see the 1891 Memory of Azov Egg).
The work on the railway cost many lives and millions of Rubels. It took nine years to construct, and work continued for some time after the presentation of this Egg, the incomplete section being marked as such on the Egg's map of the route.
The Trans-Siberian Railway Egg was transferred in 1927 to the Kremlin Armoury Museum in Moscow and is one of the ten Eggs that were never sold.
See this Egg in a little movie
Page updated: November 13, 2008