In 1903 Emperor Nicholas II and Empress Alexandra Fyodorovna celebrated the Holy and the Easter week in golden-domed Moscow, which was perceived by the Russian society, and especially Muscovites, as a major happening. After the tragedy on the Khodynka field, when during the coronation ceremony in 1896 over a thousand people were crushed in a terrible stampede, the royal couple did not like returning to the ancient Russian capital, where they were constantly reminded of that terrible day. Various events and impressions associated with the stay of the royal couple in Moscow lay at the heart of Carl Fabergé Easter masterpiece, which was dedicated to the historical visit of 1903.

The Moscow Kremlin Egg can be rightfully considered as a symbol of the Kremlin collection of Fabergé works. In executing the design of this unusual work, the craftsmen of the company had no task of making a 'model', so it became an imaginative variation on the theme of the Kremlin walls, its majestic and fairy-tale splendour. The décor of the egg, covered with white translucent enamel and crowned with a polished golden dome was patterned after the architecture of the Assumption Cathedral. In one of the glass windows, one can see a festively lit interior of the cathedral depicted on an oval glass plate inside. One can see the mighty iconostasis, the Tsar’s praying seat and the massive front pillars with fresco painting. The base of red gold represents the Spasskaya and the Vodovzvodnaya Towers, which are duplicated and connected by walls with fanciful grating. The Spasskaya Tower duplicates the coat of arms of the Russian Empire and Moscow. In the icon case above the gate, there are miniature enamel icons of Our Lady of Kazan and Christ Pantocrator.

The egg-shaped cathedral is raised high up on the base, with its bright golden dome soaring above the enamel roofs of the towers. The clear-cut sectioning of the artwork makes it possible to discern three levels interconnected to each other by ascending staircases with numerous steps, which play an important semantic role. The Moscow Kremlin egg with a golden dome of the Assumption Cathedral, being a masterly work of jewellery and a symbol of autocratic authority, embodied yet another idea of ascent towards God and the spiritual perfection of man. During a royal visit to Moscow at Easter 1903, a minor event occurred, which did not escape the attention of the press. Nicholas II was quite fond of the ‘Cherubim’, which was performed during the liturgy in the Kremlin Assumption Cathedral. The Emperor praised the singing and asked the director of the synodal choir who the author of the music was,which turned out to be Alexander Kastalsky. The court goldsmith was likely aware that the Tsar was partial to the ‘Cherubim’. That is why he decided to give sound to his complex jewellery construction, created using gems and enamels by miniaturist artisans, enamellists and jewellers of the firm. For this reason, the Moscow Kremlin egg has a music box that can be wound up with a golden key. The music box plays the enchanting Cherubim melodies – festive Eastern hymns – which the Tsar was so fond of.

The Moscow Kremlin egg is an imposing and intricate work, the largest of the imperial Easter eggs in the Armoury Chamber.