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.
Bequest of Marjorie Merriweather Post, 1973