Duchess of Marlborough (Fabergé egg)

The Duchess of Marlborough egg, also known as the Pink Serpent egg,[1] is a jewelled enameled Easter egg made by Michael Perchin under the supervision of the Russian jeweller Peter Carl Fabergé in 1902.[2]

Duchess of Marlborough Fabergé egg
Duchess of Marlborough egg.jpg
Year delivered1902
CustomerConsuelo, Duchess of Marlborough
RecipientConsuelo, Duchess of Marlborough
Current owner
Individual or institutionViktor Vekselberg
Fabergé Museum in Saint Petersburg, Russia
Year of acquisition2004
Design and materials
WorkmasterMichael Perchin
Height235 millimetres (9.3 in)
Surprisenone (clock egg)

The Duchess of Marlborough Egg is the only large Fabergé egg to have been commissioned by an American, and it is inspired by a Louis XVI clock with a revolving dial. It is similar to the earlier imperial Blue Serpent Clock egg.[2]


The egg was made for Consuelo Vanderbilt, who became the Duchess of Marlborough in 1895 when she married Charles Spencer-Churchill, 9th Duke of Marlborough.[2]

In 1902, the Duchess and her husband travelled to Russia, where they dined with Tsar Nicholas II of Russia and visited his mother, the Dowager Empress Maria Feodorovna at the Anichkov Palace. During this visit, the Duchess would have almost certainly seen the Dowager Empress' large collection of Fabergé items, which perhaps inspired her to order this egg.[2] The egg is believed to have cost over 5,000 rubles.[2]

After her divorce from the Duke of Marlborough, she donated the Duchess of Marlborough Egg to a charity auction in 1926. The egg was bought by Ganna Walska, the second wife of Harold Fowler McCormick, chairman of the International Harvester Company of Chicago.[2] At the 1965 Parke-Bernet auction of her property, it was bought by Malcolm Forbes. It was the first of several Fabergé eggs that Forbes purchased.[2]

In 2004, it was sold as part of the Forbes Collection to Viktor Vekselberg. Vekselberg also purchased nine Imperial Easter eggs, as part of the collection, for almost $100 million.[3] The egg is now housed in Vekselberg's Fabergé Museum in Saint Petersburg, Russia.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Mieks Fabergé Eggs". Wintraecken.nl. 2016-10-29. Archived from the original on 2015-03-03. Retrieved 2019-10-08.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g "Fabergé - Treasures of Imperial Russia". Archived from the original on 2007-08-23. Retrieved 2007-12-11.
  3. ^ Romanov, Pavel. "Buying Putin's Indulgences". Energy Tribune. Archived from the original on 2014-06-06. Retrieved 2007-12-11.

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