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Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Decorative Eggs on Liechtenstein Post's Stamps

For the second time since 2001 the Liechtenstein Post issues a stamp series dedicated to the exquisite decorative eggs collected by the Liechtenstein art connoisseur Adulf Peter Goop. In June 2010 he donated to the State of Liechtenstein his wide-ranging art collection including a unique collection of over 2,000 elaborately decorated Easter eggs.

The "Moscow workshop" stamp (face value CHF 1.00) shows a two-part Easter egg in cloisonne enamel, supported on a stand with three feet in the shape of a fish. Round the middle of the egg run two banderols made from white points, above which stand the Cyrillic letters "X B" for "Khristos Voskresie" (Christ is risen).

The most famous egg in the collection is the so-called "Apple Blossom Egg" by the jeweler "Karl Faberge", which bears the maker's mark of Mikhail Y. Perkhin (face value CHF 1.40). It is made of nephrite (jade), two-color gold, diamonds and enamel and stands on four red-gold feet in the form of miniature apple trees. The leaves are of green gold, the petals are enameled in opaque white and their centre and the buds are set with diamonds on pink foil.

The third egg was made by the tsar's court jeweler, "Pavel Akimovich Ovchinnikov" (face value CHF 2.60). It is likewise a two-part Easter egg in cloisonne enamel, chased silver, gilded and set with Russian garnets. The background shows Red Square with St. Basil's Cathedral. The printing process used is combined offset and steel engraving; the background is gold.