What would Easter be without Easter eggs? Whether they are coloured in one colour, have an openwork shell or are ornately decorated, at least in Germany there is no getting around Easter eggs during the Easter season.
On 15 March 1880, the Illustrierte Frauen-Zeitung published these four enchanting Easter egg artworks, or rather the instructions for these eggs. With these four examples, you don't really know where to look first, but let's start with the "simpler" Easter eggs.
"Opened at the pointed end or in the middle, the uncooked chicken, duck or goose egg is allowed to drain completely, put in vinegar for 5 minutes, which gives the egg a very soft whiteness, and then, after it has dried, the main lines of the decoration, or the shape of the object to be made from it, are drawn on it lightly with a pencil. Silk ribbon and fabric remnants of all kinds, gold and silver bits, wafers and decals, colourful arabesques, cut-out nambraces (from letterheads) can be used for decoration, and the brush can also help in many cases if guided by a skilful hand.
76. Easter egg with colourful decoration
An egg covered in an obvious mosaic-like arrangement with neatly glued on pieces of silk of different colours, which only has three empty fields in the centre, each decorated with a small wafer, which are very attractively emphasised by a border with small golden serrated borders; the coloured fields are also separated from each other, as is evident, by very narrow, pearl-like gold borders.
75. Easter egg with colourful decoration
The eggs shown in Figs. 75 and 78 are decorated with the same means, but in a different arrangement.
78 Easter egg with centimetre measure
The egg in Fig. 78 serves as a delicate cover for a centimetre ruler. For this purpose, in addition to the upper and lower openings, which are drilled with fine pointed scissors, the egg is also given a rather wide slit 3 cents long, as shown in Fig. 78. The outline of this slit is first marked and then carefully sawn through with a small file (as is also used for fretwork) down to the inner fine skin of the egg; the latter is then carefully cut open with a penknife. It goes without saying that this procedure must not cause the slightest breakage of the egg. Before beginning with the decoration, the wire which forms the crank for rolling up the centimetre measure and is wrapped in coloured silk thread must first be passed through the upper opening into the interior and from there carefully through the slit back to the outside in order to be able to attach the centimetre measure drawn on a small silk ribbon to it; Then, with the latter pulled inwards again, the wire is now pushed horizontally through the egg and its lower opening, where it is bent into a small eyelet and later decorated with delicate ribbon bows. The upper end of the wire, which ends with a large pearl, is shaped as shown in fig. 78. Fig. 78 gives a clear indication of the arrangement of the decoration; the length and width of the slit is regulated by the fabric and the bordering gold braid.
77. Easter egg with cradle and dolls
Fig. 77 is for a small doll's cradle, the shape of which is also carefully sawn out of an egg with a file and covered around the edges with a jagged strip of coloured paper. Fig. 79 shows half of the form for the runners made of cardboard and covered with gold paper on which it rests. The narrow edge of the double paper covering, which protrudes from the inner bend, provides the connection, which is bent apart on both sides with slight incisions and glued underneath according to the instructions. A few flakes of cotton wool, covered with gauze or silk, make the cushions; porcelain dolls of the appropriate size can be bought in any toy shop (well, that might be difficult today).