I’ve always been obsessed with Fabergé eggs and would even go see the small collection that would make its appearance at the Forbes Galleries whenever I was on lower Fifth. Somehow I never saw this one. Despite my affection for embarassingly lavish Russian jewels, I think the very simple Karelian Birch egg is my favorite.

From the Wikipedia entry:

The egg is made out of Karelian birch panels set in a gold frame. This departure in design from previous eggs, which were far more ornate and gilded, was due to popular discontent with the monarchy and declining fortunes as a result of World War I.  Its “surprise” was a miniature mechanical elephant, which could be wound with a small jewel-encrusted key.

Amazing. Runners up below.

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