What Came First…The Home Exchange Offer or The ‘Faberge’ Egg?

I’ve had three more exciting home exchange offers this week; but this post will address just one of them… and simultaneously solve the ‘What Came First’ riddle.

Can you fathom the connection?  It’s an odd one, for sure.

Well, as you may have guessed, the ‘Faberge’ egg came first (in 1890); and then this surprising and intriguing home exchange offer (this week, October 2014.)

What first appeared to be just one more in a long line of desirable home exchange offers, turned out to be so much more.  In addition to being a really charming home in a spectacularly charmed location, this home’s fascinating history is what truly set it apart from the myriad of wonderful offers I’ve received of late.

The offer is for a historic villa in Denmark; and I don’t mean historic based simply on it’s age or architectural value.  You see, the villa was designed and built in the late 1800’s as a summer residence for the then Russian Emperor, Tsar Alexander III, and his wife, Maria Feordorovna (Princess Dagmar of Denmark.)  Tsar Alexander III had the villa built on the grounds of Fredensborg Palace, so that his wife could live part of the year near her parents, who were none other than the king and queen of Denmark, King Christian IX and Queen Louise.

The little villa, became known as the Emporer’s Villa; however, Tsar Alexander III is said to have referred to the villa as ‘little Gatchina,’  after one of the palaces in Russia he considered his ancestral home.

As for the connection to the egg?

In 1885 Tsar Alexander III began to commission famed artist/jeweler ‘Faberge‘ to design a jeweled egg for his wife’s annual Easter gift.  These particular Faberge works of art became known as the ‘Imperial’ Eggs.   In 1890 Faberge designed ‘The Palaces Egg.’ Inside this egg are 10 connected panels; each panel hand painted with images of the various properties (palaces, castles, yachts) belonging to Alexander III and his wife’s families.  One of the panels is the painted image of the little ‘Emperors Villa.’  That villa is now a private home – and it’s the only private home in the world ever painted on a Faberge Egg; and this is the home that has been offered to me for exchange next summer.

Riddle solved.  The egg came first.  My dilemna, however, continues…I had to turn this intriguing offer down.  Oh how I wish I could exchange here next summer.  All I’d need to do is step out the door and be on the grounds of the Fredensborg Palace and in just a few steps catch the daily changing of the guards.   But as you know, I am already committed to two great home exchanges next summer, and therefore had to turn this great home exchange offer, as well as two other offers, which I’ll write about in my next post.

But how about you; would you like to offer your home in exchange for the ‘Emporer’s Villa?’   Take a look at the complete home exchange listing, here.



About Kerry Ascione

Past business and IT professional turned travel writer, blogger, speaker and coach. Huge supporter of the Peer Sharing Movement, especially as it relates to making the lives of families richer in culture and travel. Author of Have Home Will Travel, The Ultimate International Home Exchange Guide for Families.
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2 Responses to What Came First…The Home Exchange Offer or The ‘Faberge’ Egg?

  1. Lily Lau says:

    Offering my home in exchange… I’d never thought about it, but sounds so interesting I can’t reject it!


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