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The World’s Most Beautiful Eggs: the Genius of Carl Fabergé

Tue Jun 25, 9-10pm, BBC4

Fabergé eggs: you’ll definitely never own one and probably never touch one – hell, we doubt you'll ever even look at one without a pane of high-tech anti-theft glass in the way. Still, like all other symbols of the extremes of super-wealth, these jewel-encrusted trinkets (which sell for upwards of $100 million to collectors) command a certain fascination.

Their creator – Russian jeweller Carl Fabergé – did make other pieces during his career, but the eggs are the focus of this documentary. In the first half, the pub-chat factoids (also deployable at champagne dinners and wine bars, you’ll be pleased to know) come thick and fast: perhaps most surprising is the revelation that the man himself was strictly a designer, and had no hands-on role in crafting his pieces. But these moments of intrigue are outweighed by a shit-ton of incredibly dreary Russian history. Given that the bulk of Fabergé’s eggs were commissioned by the Romanov Tsars to give as Easter gifts, the link is inextricable, but the level of context is close to smothering.

A bit more about the actual craftsmanship would have been helpful; after all, as one collector asserts, Fabergé eggs were completely unique to their time – the skills and expertise used to create them simply don't exist any more.