Antique silver-gilt and semi-precious stone decorative egg model


Set upon a rock crystal base, this intricate egg model opens to reveal a charming scene, with its exterior replete with applied floral decoration.


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This impressive decorative piece is an elaborately embellished egg. The object sits on top of a flared rock-crystal fluted base, which is applied with semi-precious stones within the grooves as well as a silver-gilt openwork collar at the neck.

The exterior of the egg is separated into six primary sections: four panels which make up the main body, plus a top and base, with the sections separated by silver-gilt borders. The front two panels are hinged, and open up to reveal the scene inside. The hinged panels are held together by a small silver-gilt clasp. Each of the four main panels features applied decoration. In each, a filled fruit bowl sits inside a circular cartouche comprised of vines, ribbons, semi-precious stones, and acanthus-style designs. Fruit designs also hang from the pearl finial on the upper section, connected by foliate swags. Similar ribbon and foliate decorations also adorn the lower section of the egg, as well as silver-gilt lattice work applied to the egg’s base.

The hinged panels open to reveal an incredible decorative scene. Multiple figures wearing historic dress can be seen dancing around a maypole, a traditional May Day activity. The scene is surrounded by trees and shrubbery, and is set upon a sand base. The interior sides of the two hinged panels are also decorated with pastoral scenes reminiscent of English genre painting: in both, a young woman is courted by a man within a countryside landscape. Applied to the very top of the interior is a silver-gilt sun which ‘shines’ down on the summery scene below – yet another hidden element in this intriguing object.

The initials ‘H. H.’ are monogrammed to the interior of the right-hand hinged panel.

The combination of the incredible exterior decoration and remarkable interior scenography make this egg a true collectable, that would be at home in any cabinet of curiosities. 


Country of Origin
Date of Manufacture
Late 19th Century
Late 19th Century
Animal / Animalier, Birds / Ornithology
Paper, Semi-precious stones, Silver-gilt, Sand
Cream, Multi-coloured


19 cm / 7.5 inches
8 cm / 3.1 inches


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