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Deutsches Technikmuseum - April

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The Websites of the donation Stiftung Deutsches Technikmuseum Berlin at a glance:

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Exhibit of the Month April 2019

Photo: The egg consists of two halves that are fused together with a seam of royal icing. A flower bouquet has been formed as a further decorative element. The egg is wrapped in transparent film.

This sugar Easter egg has been carefully stored for many decades and conceals a surprise inside: a miniature diorama with paper figures © SDTB / Photo: C. Kirchner

Easter Egg with a Miniature Diorama, 1908-1918

This decorative Easter egg has seen and survived a number of Easter celebrations.

It may be hard to believe of this fragile construction of sugar, royal icing and cardboard, but it is already about a hundred years old and had had five previous owners before landing in our collection.

The Deutsches Technikmuseum received this object last year from a woman from Oldenburg. She had inherited it from her grandmother (born 1926). Before that it had belonged to a classmate of the grandmother. And that classmate in turn got it from her mother, who was born in 1900. The latter received the Easter egg as a gift while a youth in Bremen.

This history suggests that the egg could not have been produced after 1918. The earliest possible date is supplied by the original packaging because packaging made with transparent film first became viable with the invention of cellophane in 1908.

Tradition with European roots

Panorama eggs like this consist of two half shells made by pressing sugar into a mould. The two halves are then glued together with royal icing after the diorama on the inside is complete.

This tradition with European roots also enjoyed a certain popularity in the USA until the end of the 1980s.

Photo: The box displays an Easter egg in a meadow. Fairy tale figures along with two children are walking around the egg. There are more little Easter eggs and two willow branches with catkins and ribbons illustrated on the margins.

The motif on the original gift box indicates what the contents are. Snow White - probably - peeks into the egg’s interior. © SDTB / Photo C. Kirchner

Nowadays, such decorative eggs are no longer part of the usual Easter assortment in the confectionery trade. There are instead diverse instructions on the Internet on how to make them yourself. That will make a lot of nostalgic people happy, but probably won’t pose any competition to the widely available chocolate eggs.

They are more bite-sized and easier to eat. They probably also taste better to boot.