By Dan Howlin
This time of year, when someone talks about eggs most people will think of an Easter egg or a chocolate egg. For Regina Keller, Assistant Academic Chair of the Mathematics and Computer Science Department, eggs mean a whole lot more.
Ever since she received one from her aunts as a little girl, Keller has been fascinated by jeweled eggs, sometimes known as Fabergé eggs. Faberge eggs are handmade, hinged and jeweled. The eggs are hinged so that they can open. The egg that Keller’s aunts gave her is now almost sixty years old.
These jeweled eggs come in many shapes and sizes, Keller stressed the diversity among the eggs. “Many of the eggs are different, bigger ones are made from goose eggs, the smaller ones are made from regular chicken eggs, they’re also multi-purposed, some of the eggs are for decoration, some can be used as jewelry and some even play music” said Keller.
Although she received her first egg as a child, it took Keller many years to actually start collecting them. One day she said to her husband that she wanted to start an egg collection, and she has been collecting ever since. Once she started collecting, Keller realized how many different types of unique eggs there were. “We were in a store in Connecticut and I saw one of the eggs, I bought it and that’s how I fell in love with them” said Keller. “They’re hard to find because they’re handmade, you can’t just buy them in any store” she added. When discussing why eggs interested her Keller said “I think I found interest in them because they’re all so different, I know people collect things like spoons from every country but I thought these were unique, people then started giving them to me as gifts!” Keller then explained that the popularity of these eggs has grown over the years and certain ones can be sold for $900.
Keller has now been collecting for about fifteen years and has many fascinating stories about her collection, which now features over 100 eggs. One of the most special eggs in Keller’s collection is one that plays her wedding song. While she was at an antique and collectible in store in Las Vegas searching for eggs, she told the working that she wished an egg played her wedding song, so the woman in the store put her in contact with the company that makes the eggs. Keller’s collection was put in a display at the Sachem Library for everyone to see and then in 2007, her collection was featured in a Newsday article.
Keller’s collection has grown over the years, but the way in which she collects has also changed since she first began fifteen years ago. “When I first started, I was very avid about buying and collecting, as time went on I became more discerning toward the eggs and I have become more particular about what I buy. I’m also looking to add to the collection, and my husband feeds on it” she added.
In the future, Regina Keller hopes to continue her collection, as she is always looking for eggs whenever she travels. As she said, her family is always looking to help her with the collection. However, no matter how many eggs she receives, that first one will always be the most special