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One of the largest Faberge eggs in history: the Bouquet of Lilies Clock Egg was an Easter gift to the Empress Alexandra Fedorovna

David Goran

Imperial Faberge Eggs, known also as Tsar’s Fabergé Eggs, are considered masterpieces of the jeweler’s art and a symbol of extravagance and luxury.

It all started when Alexander III, with an intention to celebrate Easter, started a tradition that turned into one of the most precious and luxurious collections in the world.

The Bouquet of Lilies Clock Egg. Kremlin Armory Museum, Moscow  Photo Credit

The Bouquet of Lilies Clock Egg. Kremlin Armory Museum, Moscow  Photo Credit

 

One of the larger Fabergé eggs Photo Credit

The Bouquet of Lilies Clock Egg, also known as the Madonna Lily Egg, is a jeweled Easter egg (one of the larger Faberge eggs) made of varicolored gold, platinum, rose-cut diamonds, white onyx, translucent yellow enamel and opaque white enamel given by Tsar Nicholas II as an Easter gift to his Empress, Alexandra Fedorovna in 1899.

Being the capstone to her collection, it is one of the few eggs that the Russians managed to preserve and protect.

It was made in 1899 under the supervision of the Russian jeweler Peter Carl Fabergé  Photo Credit1 Photo Credit2

It was made in 1899 under the supervision of the Russian jeweler Peter Carl Fabergé  Photo Credit1 Photo Credit2

 

This egg uses the symbolic language of flowers which was well known at the time Photo Credit

The egg-shaped clock and its rectangular pedestal are decorated with translucent yellow-gold enamel on a guilloche background. It is designed as a vase with red-gold scrolls serving as extra supports on each side. It is crowned with a delicate bouquet of Madonna lilies, carved from onyx. All the flowers on the egg are carefully placed.

The roses were symbols of love and the lilies were a symbol of purity and innocence. The pistils of the flowers are set with three small diamonds, and the leaves and stems are made of tinted gold. The flowers, combined with burning torches, suggest the virtuous flame of family love.

The egg is a functioning clock, made of gold and adorned with diamonds  Photo Credit1 Photo Credit2

The egg is a functioning clock, made of gold and adorned with diamonds  Photo Credit1 Photo Credit2

A diamond and enameled belt with twelve diamond-set Roman numerals I- XII revolves around the perimeter of the Egg, indicating the time.

Read another story from us: The Memory of Azov Egg: a jeweled Easter egg made in 1891 for Alexander III of Russia that commemorates the voyage undertaken by the Tsar’s sons

A gold key was used to wind the mechanism. It is one of the rare and few that never left Russia and is currently held in the Kremlin Armory Museum in Moscow, as one of the few Fabergé eggs that have never left Russia.