This is the story of Fabergé's Imperial Easter eggs – of their maker, of the tsars who commissioned them, of the middlemen who sold them and of the collectors who fell in love with them. It's a story of meticulous craftsmanship and unimaginable wealth, of lucky escapes and mysterious disappearances, and ultimately of greed, tragedy and devotion. Moreover, it is a story that mirrors the history of twentieth-century Russia – a satisfying arc that sees eggs made for the tsars, sold by Stalin, bought by Americans and now, finally, returned to post-communist Russia. There is also an intriguing element of mystery surrounding the masterpieces. Of the fifty 'Tsar Imperial' eggs known to have been made, eight are currently unaccounted for, providing endless scope for speculation and forgeries. This is the first book to tell the complete history of the eggs, encompassing the love and opulence in which they were conceived, the war and revolution that scattered them, and the collectors who preserved them.