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On view in: Icon Room
About this object
As this clock demonstrates, famed Russian designer Carl Fabergé borrowed ideas not only from eighteenth-century France, but also from the English rococo. An eighteenth-century clock attributed to James Cox that reputedly belonged to Empress Alexandra (now at the Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore) served as the basis for the piece in the Hillwood collection. According to legend, Maria Fedorovna, Alexandra's mother-in-law, admired the English clock by Cox. Nicholas and Alexandra then commissioned Fabergé to create a new piece as a gift for Maria, whose monogram appears on the back. To create the clock in the Hillwood collection, Fabergé both copied and altered details from his model. Both clocks take the form of chests of drawers, and two putti at each side support the clockworks. In addition to drawers, the Fabergé clock has side panels that open to reveal portraits on ivory of Nicholas and Alexandra.
The case is made of pale green bowenite in silver mounts. The lower portion is in the form of two-drawer 18th century commode, resting on four lizard-shaped monsters in silver for feet. The frame of the clock-case is in silver with rococo scrolls and a protome at each corner. At the right side an oval opens to display a miniature of the Emperor Nicholas II and at the other side an oval covers a matching miniature of the last Empress, Alexandra Feodorovna. At the back of the commode is a silver medallion with the cipher of Maria Fedorovna, the Dowager Empress. The clock is above the commode and is supported by two putti at each side. The whole is surmounted by a bouquet of flowers in emeralds, cabochon rubies and pearls.
- Object name:
- Made from:
- Silver gilt -- bowenite --emerald --ruby --pearl --watercolor on ivory
- Made in:
- RUSSIA: St Petersburg
- Date made:
overall __11 1/4" __4"
overall __28.58 CM __10.16 CM
Detailed information for this item
- Catalog number:
- Signature marks:
- MARK __works marked: H. Moser & Cie;on the back in rococo shell: IR in Cyrillic (initials of workmaster Julius Rappoport), 88 and crossed anchors (assay mark for St. Petersburg before 1899) ||SCRATCH __47670
- Credit line:
- Bequest of Marjorie Merriweather Post, 1973
- Featured in publication:
- "Hillwood Museum & Gardens: Marjorie Merriweather Post's Art Collector's Personal Museum","Fabergé at Hillwood","A Taste for Splendor: Russian Imperial and European Treasures from the Hillwood Museum","Fabergé Rediscovered"