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The Egg Museum in France

by Francine Clary


It is impossible to discuss the French Egg Museum without referring to Françoise Vignal Caillet. Her fondness for eggs began in the USA where she lived for several years and where a lady of Russian descent taught her how
to make pysanky eggs. Back in France,  Françoise remembered the joy of applying her artistic talent on this unusual oval and fragile material. In 1992, she created the Egg Museum in Soyans, a picturesque village in the South East of France. Protected by a landscape of ridges and valleys, the 13th century Sainte Philomène Chapel would be the first nest for Françoise's precious and growing collection. However, as the museum spread its wings, the chapel became too small to shelter the shells.

In April 2002, the International Egg Museum was therefore created in Montelimar (a famous city in the southeast of France), with Tatiana Fabergé (the granddaughter of the Czars' jeweler) as its "god mother". This museum, like its creator, is bilingual and the visits can be done in English. Everything is based on the theme "the tales of the egg". There is a comprehensive documentation about the symbolism of the egg, researches about the first eggs (dinosaur eggs) and the evolution of eggs throughout the ages. There are books, slides, videos, recipes, among other resources.

The various egging techniques are represented by "egg'ceptional" creations: sculpting, hinging, painting, engraving, pasting. There will also be classes explaining how to decorate eggs.

Emu egg carved by Francine ClaryGoose egg decorated by Mrs. EcureuxIcone painted by Mrs. Schefer

There are so many fragile treasures to discover. From engraved and sculpted emu egg shells to goose eggs turned into lace by the magical hand of the egger. We can also admire tiny crèches in canary eggs, Chinese paintings, jewels boxes with drawers, eggs with precious wood marquetry, a lacemaker pigeon egg with the tiny pins planted in the delicate shell and its 65 bobbins. There will also be a showcase dedicated to Eastern Countries (Poland, Russia) to the Far East (China, Bali, Tibet, Japan -including a bronze egg decorated with ancien pictograms). There are also eggs  decorated with leather strips from Maghreb. You can find amazing sculpted eggs from North America and eggs from South America decorated with typical nativity scenes. You can also admire a wonderful replica of the Napoleonic egg given by Tatiana Fabergé. The original egg had been given to Czar Alexander III to celebrate the defeat of Napoleon in Moscow. There is also a children's showcase with tiny wonders made by  the younger ones.

Above all, we mustn't forget the natural marvels : the casoar egg, a bright green eggshell with tiny white dots; the emu egg, which, as you know, is almost black ; the intense blue of  the ibis egg, chocolate brown hen eggs. There is also the impressive ostrich egg and the smallest of all, the hummingbird egg. To complete the visit, it is also possible to admire the paintings of Thérèse Coulaud on the walls. For this artist, the egg, as a source of life, becomes a source of inspiration.

If you want to know more about the French Egg Museum, don't hesitate to contact Françoise Vignal Caillet at museedeloeuf@wanadoo.fr or visit the website http://www.lemuseedeloeuf.com

And enjoy the visit !

Francine Clary is a French and English Teacher in Paris, France.
She is also an accomplished, prize-winning egg artist.  Read the article about Francine by clicking here.
 

        Emu's Zine does not diagnose, prescribe or dispense medical advice.  We report and attempt to educate the public about the possible health benefits derived through the use of emu oil based products and consumption of low cholesterol, low fat emu meat.   This site contains personal testimonies and professional observations.   We encourage people to contact their family physicians regarding any health problems they may have for proper diagnosis and treatment.

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