In the last post, I told you guys about Faberge eggs. In this post, I want to talk about the egg that’s at the very center of TSARINA.
It’s the Constellation Egg!
Obviously, I made the magic parts up for TSARINA. But the Constellation Egg itself is real. The Constellation Egg was the very last Faberge egg that Tsar Nicholas commissioned the Faberge company to make as a gift for his wife, the Tsarina. Unfortunately, Nicholas never got to give the Constellation Egg to his wife— the revolution happened, the Romanov family was taken into custody, and eventually, they were executed.
I used the Constellation Egg for TSARINA in part because it was the very last Faberge Egg the Romanovs commissioned— but also because of the design itself. The egg is basically Alexei themed. It’s made of cobalt blue glass; embedded in the glass are diamonds meant to represent stars, set in the shape of the Leo constellation— Alexei’s zodiac sign. Inside the egg is a clock mechanism, and the whole thing is set on quartz carved to look like clouds.
So, where is the Constellation Egg now?
For a long time, it was one of the missing eggs— no one knew what happened to it, since keeping track of fancy jeweled eggs wasn’t really anyone’s priority during the Revolution. Then, in 2001, a mineral museum in Moscow found what they believed to be the unfinished egg in their archives:
And everyone was like…yay! Constellation egg! They found it!
But then, in about 2004, a Russian billionaire revealed that he had the finished Faberge egg— and claimed the thing the mineral museum found was just some sort of light fixture the Faberge company made. The billionaire also had the second-to-last Faberge egg ever, the Karelian Birch egg, so…all signs seem to point to this egg being the real deal. The Russian authorities say neither of the eggs is real, but billionaire-guy also has the invoices from Faberge to Tsar Nicholas, the original drawings…
If you ask me? Billionaire man has the real egg.
By the way— because the Constellation Egg isn’t as egg shaped as we wanted for the cover (we wanted it to be really clear Natalya was holding a Faberge egg!), I suggested that the cover designers at Razorbill use another egg, called the Tsarevich Egg, which was also Alexei themed and a bit more traditionally egg-shaped: