Precious Eggs: Of Art, Beauty & Culture

If all you think about eggs is how you would like them done – scrambled, fried, or poached, the Singapore Philatelic Museum’s (SPM) newest exhibition, Precious Eggs: Of Art, Beauty and Culture, will have you thinking twice.

Drawn from the vaults of the Liechtenstein National Museum, these eggs portray artistic creations that reflect love, history, culture, art, faiths and traditions. On display is a collection of 148 eggs specially selected from the renowned Adulf Peter Goop Collection, shown outside of Europe for the very first time. 

Mr Adulf Peter Goop (1921-2011) amassed one of the finest collections of exquisite eggs from all over the world and donated over 4,000 eggs to the Museum in 2010.

One of my favourites on display is the Apple Blossom Egg Replica. Carved from a solid piece of nephrite, the original egg is set in a red and green gold cast, fashioned like twisted tree branches. Apple blossoms with enamel petals and rose-cut centres are dotted along the branches hanging with gold leaves. This is one of the largest Fabergé eggs measuring 14cm in length. 

Other eggs I liked include these beautiful Cloisonné eggs, especially the one with St. Basil’s Cathedral (bottom-left). Cloisons is French for partitions. Cloisonné technique uses coloured glass paste to fill in the chambers marked out by copper or bronze wires. The piece is then fired. This process is repeated until all spaces are filled. After polishing the surfaces to reveal the partitions, gliding is done on the edges, interior and base.  

Besides colourfully decorated quail, chicken, duck, goose, swan and ostrich eggs, there are also eggs crafted of precious and enamelled metals, glass, porcelain, wax, crystal, marble, stone, wood, reindeer horn, cardboard, and papier-mâché. 

↑ Friendship Egg: This blown out painted egg says, “Greetings to you”. Traditionally, young men and women would give these red eggs to show their interest in each other. 

↑ Ceramic eggs: with holes forming an X (left) and lotus bud with curling tendrils (right).

These crystal and glass eggs are also on my list of favourites. I especially like the Crystal Egg (bottom-right) made of Bohemian glass, which has a long history dating back to the 13th century. This egg, which can be opened, has designs of hares in a forest.

Also on show is a series of artists’ eggs, a set of commissioned sculptures to showcase the works of Liechtenstein’s leading artists. 

Rarities in this exhibition include porcelain Easter eggs bearing the royal cipher of the last Russian Emperor and Empress, miniature eggs pendants designed by Peter Carl Fabergé, Swarovski crystals encrusted egg, among many others.

From Singapore, 24K gold plated ostrich, emu, goose, chicken and quail eggs from RISIS are also on display.

Cultures around the world recognise the vital importance an egg represents, and through a showcase of eggs as stunning works of art, the exhibition celebrates the egg as a symbol of fertility, the promise of new life and good fortune.

See the world through Eggs at the
Singapore Philatelic Museum from 12th April 2017 to 8th October 2017. Admission is $8 / free for Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents.