The earliest Easter egg in the collection of the Moscow Kremlin Museums was made in the workshop of Mikhail Perkhin in 1891. In 1886 he was in charge of the workshop that executed the best and most important works by Carl Fabergé company. Nearly all of the Easter eggs commissioned by the Tsar’s family before 1903 were made in his workshop. It usually took one year to make one egg.

'Memory of Azov' is the only egg in the Kremlin Museums' collection that was commissioned by Alexander III. It was given as a gift to Empress Maria Fyodorovna and dedicated to the Oriental voyage of the Tsar’s sons – the heir to the throne, Tsesarevich Nicholai Alexandrovich (Emperor Nicholas II) and Grand Duke George Alexandrovich. This long arduous and famous voyage lasted nine and a half months. They travelled by sea across India, China and Japan and returned by land from the Far East through the boundless Siberia. The voyage was made on a cruiser from the imperial fleet called ‘Memory of Azov’, named after the famous Russian battleship 'Azov', which was the first ship in Russian history to be awarded the St. George stern flag and pennant for its involvement in the battle of Navarre in 1827.  Tsesarevich was on board as a passenger, while his younger brother Georgy was a crew member with the rank of warrant officer. This is why the surprise inside the egg is a miniature model of the ship, made of gold and platinum. It was placed on a plate made of aquamarine, the colour of seawater, in a golden frame with a loop. Its dark green colour is reminiscent of the sea depths. The external appearance and rigging of the cruiser are meticulously reproduced down to the most minute details: the eye can distinguish the tiny platinum lifeboats, anchors on chains, a web of fine golden masts and microscopic letters of the name 'Azov' on the stern. The design chosen for the egg is the Louis XV style or Neo-Rococo, with pompous motifs which were frequently used by the craftsmen of the company in the 1880s and the first half of the 1890s, which blended ideally with the overall design of this exquisite goldsmithing.

The voyage, which lasted from 1890 to 1891, did not turn to be very successful for Georgy, as his tuberculosis went from bad to worse. The worse thing happened when the heir to the throne was struck on the head by a crazed samurai in the Japanese city of Otsu. The assault took place after the egg had been given to the Empress mother. This tragic event also provides new insights into the Easter gift. In the eyes of the people who knew all the circumstances surrounding the hapless journey, the blood-red droplets included in the heliotrope and the crimson spot of the ruby in the button clock took on a special, sinister sense. The voyage of the future Emperor to the Far East, in the mind of contemporaries, was a fatal event and predetermineв many of the subsequent events in his reign.

Thus, the 'Memory of Azov' egg is not only a perfect sample of jewellery and gem-making art but also a valuable memento linked to one of the events in the whirlwind of  Russian history at the end of the 19th century.