Houston Egg Art Guild

The History of Egg Art

written by Barbara Rich

In ancient times, long before the birth of Christ, the egg was a symbol of new life.  Throughout history the decorating and giving or exchanging of eggs has been present in many cultures and religions.

Practically every country has some form of a decorated egg.  They were very popular among European nobility and appeared as early as the thirteenth century in the royal courts of England and France.


The art of eggery which has become so popular in this country today can trace its beginnings to the goldsmith and jeweler to the Russian Imperial Court, Peter Carl Faberge.  In1883 Tsar Alexander III commissioned Faberge to create the first Imperial Easter Egg as a gift for the Tsarina.  It was a tradition which Alexander's son, Nicholas II, continued until the Russian Revolution swept Nicholas from the throne and his family to their deaths.


Faberge's Imperial Eggs were adorned with fine jewels and many contained "surprises" which were hidden in secret compartments.  However, Faberge's eggs were not actual eggshells.  They were precious metals and jewels fashioned into egg-shaped works of art.  To the modern day egg artist his works are an inspiration.


Today's egg artists, like artists of the past, create treasures to be handed down through generations.  In a world of automation where assembly lines are the norm, the art of eggery is reminiscent of a time long gone.