Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Imperial Lilies-of-the-Valley Basket

House of Carl Fabergé
Workmaster: August Wilhelm Holmström (1829–1903)
Russian, Saint Petersburg
Yellow and green gold, silver, nephrite, pearl, rose-cut diamond
Overall: 7 1/2 x 8 1/2 x 5 7/8 in. (19.1 x 21.6 x 14.9 cm)
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
Related Objects

Cigarette case

Date: 1896–1903 Medium: Silver, gold, enamel Accession: 1991.412.3 On view in:Gallery 556

Box in the form of a banded trunk

Date: 1899–1908 Medium: Nephrite, gold, ename, diamonds Accession: 1983.183.12 On view in:Not on view


Date: 1896–1903 Medium: Gold, enamel Accession: 65.81 On view in:Not on view


Date: 1908–17 Medium: Nephrite, gold Accession: 64.91 On view in:Not on view

Picture frame

Date: before 1896 Medium: Silver gilt, holly wood Accession: 2008.652.5 On view in:Not on view