Friday, April 18, 2014

Mastery of Design: The Basket of Flowers Egg, 1901

Crown Copyright
The Royal Collection
Image Courtesy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

Click image to enlarge.

The Basket of Flowers Egg
Fabergé, 1901
Enamel, Silver, Gold, Diamonds
The Royal Collection
Queen Mary liked the work of Carl Fabergé. Well, actually, my favorite Royal magpie liked anything shiny. I’ll always have that in common with good ol’ Mary of Teck. Through a variety of means, Mary somehow managed to obtain a lot of the Fabergé which had been confiscated during the Russian Revolution. Among those items were several of the legendary Fabergé Eggs.

The eggs were made by Carl Fabergé each year in absolute secrecy. They were presented by Tsar Nicholas II for Tsarina Alexandra Feodorovna as Easter gifts. This—The Basket of Flowers Egg—was considered one of the most magnificent. An egg-shaped vase of silver, gold and enamel is adorened with a delicate pattern of diamonds. Diamonds also spell out the year—1901. The vase is filled with an assortment of enamel and diamond flowers.

When Queen Mary obtained the egg, it had been badly damaged in the Revolution. Queen Mary had the original oyster-colored enamel stand replaced with a bright blue enamel base. The pattern of diamonds was continued all the way to the bottom.

Say what you will about Mary of Teck, but she managed to rescue and repair thousands of gorgeous objects which would have otherwise been lost. 

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