Eggs: Spring Awakening

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The vernal equinox not only welcomes longer days and shorter nights, but also a celebration of new life. And no motif embodies that idea more than the egg, a form beloved by jewelers and sculptors as much for its representation of spring as its three-dimensional, graceful curved qualities.

“Most jewelry is about love in some way, shape or form, but the egg is like a literal expression of the unique beauties of spring and birth and brightness,” muses jewelry expert Marion Fasel, founder of The Adventurine. “It’s not as ubiquitous a form as the heart but the idea is very much the same.”

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“In addition to the promise of birth and new life, there is a preciousness, an innocence, and the incredible delicacy/strength contradiction in its structure,” says jeweler Gabriella Kiss, who features eggs in her own namesake line. Take, for example, her snake earring wrapped around a pearl egg “that is I suppose it’s own little frightening nature narrative,” she says. Meanwhile, Ted Muehling interprets the oval shape to equally stunning effect in his elegant porcelain goose egg vase series and candlestick offerings.

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Looking back on the egg shape throughout the history of jewelry, Fasel calls to mind a few standout pieces. “All the famous Imperial Eggs Fabergé made for the Russian royal family are kind of fantastic,” she says. “The Duchess of Windsor had a gorgeous Cartier egg-shaped compact, I recently got a chance to look at when I was interviewing Jennifer Tilly for The Adventurine. She owns it now.”

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And for Kiss, the egg shape in her work also resonates on a personal level. “I was pregnant with my second son when I did my bird collection in 1992,” says the jeweler of the series, which is all about protection. “The birds are all holding eggs in their mouths—eggs of turquoise or pearls. It is a very literal interpretation of the life symbol and for me a particularly timely connection to the shape and it’s meaning.”