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A Prince, Saint Nicholas the Wonderworker of the Kiev Near Caves (12th century) left his family to become a monk. He worked in the monastery's kitchen, served as gatekeeper, and grew a garden around his cell; also, he funded two churches in the area. Saint Nicholas was the first Russian prince to accept monasticism; his brothers ridiculed him, and his doctor told him fasting had weakened him. Saying this the doctor fell ill and was only cured by the saint's prayers. (Oct 14)

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Nikolay II and Alexandra Feodorovna with their signatures, c 1897. The frame was produced by The House of Faberge in 1908 from enamel and silver. Kept in The Diamond Fund of Russia.

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Nicholas Hilliard (British, ca. 1547–1619). Portrait of a Woman, 1597. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Fletcher Fund, 1935 (35.89.2) | This work is featured in "In Miniature," on view through December 31, 2014.

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from Mental Floss

The Quick 10: 10 Faberge Egg Surprises

FABERGÉ~ ROSEBUD EGG~ 1895. Imperial Fabergé Egg No. 11. A gift from Tsar Nicholas II to Empress Alexandra Feodorovna. The surprise is a yellow enamelled rosebud, which originally contained two more surprises: a diamond replica of the Imperial crown with a cabochon ruby pendant suspended inside. The crown and pendant have been lost.

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Orange Tree Egg (or Bay Tree Egg), 1911. Presented by Nicholas II to Dowager Empress Maria Fyodorovna. Gold, nephrite (1), diamonds, citrines, amethysts, rubies, pearls, agate, feathers. Kept in Svyaz' Vremyon Fund - Viktor Vekselberg collection - Moscow.

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Russian Great Imperial Crown, first worn by Catherine the Great; the diamond-encrusted crown holds the second largest spinel in the world, a red spinel weighing 398.72 carats.

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Fifteenth Anniversary Egg, 1911, Presented by Nicholas II to Czarina Alexandra Fyodorovna. Gold, platinum, diamonds, ivory, rock crystal. Kept in Svyaz' Vremyon Fund - Viktor Vekselberg collection - Moscow.

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The Rosebud Egg, with its bonbonnière shape, its chased gold laurel swags, its diamond-set tied ribbons and arrows and its red guilloché enamel ground, the egg is a perfect rendition of an eighteenth-century symbol of Love. The Rosebud Egg is also the quintessence of Fabergé's new Neo-Classical style. Presented by Emperor Nicholas II to his wife the Empress Alexandra Feodorovna at Easter 1895. Svyaz' Vremyon Fund - Viktor Vekselberg Collection - Moscow

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