If you love and admire Fabergé artistry and you’re lucky enough to be visiting New York, then swing by the Metropolitan Museum of Art and check out the Matilda Geddings Gray Foundation’s magnificent collection of Fabergé works (Gallery 555), which is on long-term loan. Here you will find the most important Fabergé work in an American collection, the Lilies-of-the-Valley Basket created in 1896 for Czarina Alexandra Feodorovna, the wife of Czar Nicholas II.
This stunning piece was commissioned for the occasion of Czar Nicholas’ coronation and remained one of the Czarina’s most treasured pieces. The lily-of-the-valley was one of her favourite flowers and symbolized domestic happiness and marital bliss.
Emerging from this bed are nine separate plants from which nineteen individual stems support pearl blossoms edged in silver and set with rose-cut diamonds. The result is breathtakingly beautiful. They appear so realistic, you wonder whether they would sway in the breeze.
The delicate gold basket forms the base. It’s created from green and yellow gold, spun and fused to represent moss. The delicate craftsmanship (workmaster August Wilhelm Holmstrom) is just exquisite.
Other Fabergé pieces that comprise this dazzling collection are three of the famous Fabergé eggs. Do see it if you can.