Sunday, July 8, 2012

Gifts of Grandeur: The Fabergé Basket of Flowers Egg

Basket of Flowers Egg
Russia, 1901
Crown Copyright
The Royal Collection
Image Courtesy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

Made in 1901, this work of parcel gilt silver, gold, oyster guilloché and blue enamel, and diamonds is an Imperial Easter egg by Carl Fabergé. The masterpiece is basket-shaped with a rose diamond trellis and an oval handle adorned with four bows. The egg contains wild flowers (pansies, cornflowers, daisies, mock orange), leaves and oat husks of enamel on gold.

When originally made, the egg was entirely enameled in white, however, due to damage sustained in the aftermath of the revolution (when this as well as most of the Tsar’s treasures, was confiscated by the provisional government in 1917), the base was re-enameled in blue.

Queen Mary (1867-1953), Consort of King George V, acquired the egg in 1933. It is possible that the re-enameling took place prior to Her Majesty’s acquisition or, perhaps, it her request since the color of the enamel is one that was favored by the Queen.

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