Art/ Collection/ Art Object
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Imperial Lilies-of-the-Valley Basket

Maker:
House of Carl Fabergé
Maker:
Workmaster: August Wilhelm Holmström (1829–1903)
Date:
1896
Culture:
Russian, Saint Petersburg
Medium:
Yellow and green gold, silver, nephrite, pearl, rose-cut diamond
Dimensions:
Overall: 7 1/2 x 8 1/2 x 5 7/8 in. (19.1 x 21.6 x 14.9 cm)
Classification:
Metalwork-Gold and Platinum
Credit Line:
Matilda Geddings Gray Foundation
Accession Number:
L.2011.66.56a, b
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 555
This basket is considered the most important Fabergé piece in the United States and the highest achievement of the workmaster August Wilhelm Holmström. It consists of nineteen individual stems decorated with pearls and diamonds and was presented to Czarina Alexandra Feodorovna (wife of Czar Nicholas II) on the occasion of her visit to the Pan-Russian Exhibition in 1896. The czarina treasured it not only because the lily-of-the-valley was one of her favorite flowers but also because, in the language of the flowers, it symbolizes domestic happiness and conjugal bliss.

[Wolfram Koeppe, 2011]
Inscription: on base, in Cyrillic:
To Her Imperial Majesty, Tsarina Alexandra Feodorovna, from the Ironworks management and dealers in the Siberian iron section of the Pan Russian Artistic and Manufacturing Exhibition in the year of 1896

Marking: on base of the basket:
1) FABERGE', in Cyrillic
2) 56, gold carat mark
3) A.(?).H., partially effaced, workmaster's mark
4) crossed anchor and scepter
Created for Tsarina Alexandra Feodorovna ; Matilda Geddings Gray Foundation
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