Egg Collectibles can take many forms, from collecting and studying actual eggs -- Oology, to acquiring eggs made of different materials. Many eggs objects could also be classified as cross-collectibles, for instance a Disney collector might collect an egg painted with a character painted on it, or a collector of Eastern European artifacts could include Pysanky* eggs.
According to The Provincial Museum of Alberta, egg collecting has been practiced for centuries. At first eggshells were hung in medieval homes for decoration and later, in the 1700's, eggs became popular items to collect.
Although there are numerous types of egg collectibles, we'll explore a few of the more popular ones.
Decorating eggs, goes back to the ancient Ukrainians where the art of melted wax and dyes created the first beautiful and intricate Ukraine eggs, also known as Pysanky (from the word to write).
Egg designs and traditions were passed down for generations from mother to daughter and giving a Pysanka** would bring a family happiness and luck. It is considered a symbol of life, and the reason why the egg remains whole and painted while raw. Today's eggs are typically blown-out with a little hole on the top and bottom.
And as the Ukrainians went through the many stages of their history, the egg came to symbolize different things to the people, eventually embracing the symbolism of Christians. Through the changes, it still remained the same type of decorative egg. To the unknowing, the designs are intricate and don't appear to mean anything -- but there are traditional designs that would be given to the recipient depending on their age and stage of life. At the beginning eggs were limited in colors, but now consist of a wide spectrum -- each color symbolizing a different meaning.
Creating the Pysanka is an exacting process, but one that can be done by an experienced crafter. The simplest designs would probably take just a few hours. If doing the actual work is not appealing, there are many places on the Internet where the eggs may be purchased. The prices will range depending on the intricacy, the artist and the type of egg.
Ann Morash's "Learn Pysanky" (sidebar link) is a terrific site that will answer all your questions about Pysanky - the meaning of the symbols and colors, as well as design ideas. There are step by step instructions on creating your own egg, black and white drawings to color, and extensive resources on these beautiful eggs.
*Pysanky - Plural
**Pysanka - Single Egg
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