The Rosebud Egg was the first egg made by Fabergé for Tsarina Alexandra Feodorovna and it was presented to her at Easter in 1895 by her husband Nicholas II. Nicholas would also take over commissioning an egg for his mother, Maria Feodorovna, after the death of his father and it meant Fabergé would now be producing two eggs annually for the tsar.
The Rosebud Egg is covered with translucent red enamel on a wave-patterned guilloche field, quartered by lines of rose-cut diamonds and is surmounted by a miniature of Nicholas II beneath a portrait diamond, encircled by rose-cut diamonds.
The egg opens to reveal a yellow rosebud, made of opaque green and yellow enamel over gold, and nestled in cream velvet lining. The rosebud itself opened to reveal a golden crown with diamonds and rubies, along with an cabochon ruby pendant, however these have since been lost. The yellow China tea rose represented the roses growing in the gardens of the tsarina’s former home in Darmstadt which were too dainty to survive the harsh Russian weather.
Like most of the Imperial Eggs, the Rosebud was confiscated during the 1917 revolution and later sold to Emanuel Snowman of the jewellers Wartski around 1927. The Rosebud then disappeared from the public eye for decades before it became part of the Forbes Collection in 1985. The Rosebud was bought by Russian billionaire, Viktor Vekselberg, and is now housed in the Fabergé Museum in Saint Petersburg, Russia.