Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Gifts of Grandeur: Queen Mary’s Convolvulus, 1900

The Royal Collection

Carl Fabergé created a series of miniature floral arrangements in enamel, gold and precious stones. Many of these objects ended up in the collection of Queen Mary. This elegant bouquet of convolvulus dates to 1900. It was purchased from Fabergé's London branch in 1908 for £35 by the Hon. Mrs Harold Nicolson who, in 1949, auctioned it at Sotheby's where it was purchased by the Royal Family as a gift for Queen Mary on her birthday on May 26, 1949.

The impressive collection of Fabergé in the Royal Collection had been started by Queen Alexandra. King George V and Queen Mary added further examples to the remarkable collection of Fabergé flowers. This example is one of the finest. The flowers are rendered in enamelled gold which has been set with rose-cut diamonds. The leaves are of white nephrite. The plant sits in a bowenite trough. Originally, when Queen Mary acquired it was mounted on a an additional base of white jade, but that has since been lost. 

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