The Bay Tree egg, or as it is mistakenly also known, the Orange Tree, was presented by Tsar Nicholas II to his mother, the dowager Empress Maria Fyodorovna on 12 April 1911. The original of this egg was crafted in the shape of a clipped tree with a tight crown of jade leaves dotted with flowers and fruits of precious stones and white enamel petals: champagne colored diamonds, amethysts, pale rubies and citrine. Hidden among the leaves is a key hole and a tiny lever which raises the round lid at the top of the tree when activated. After this a singing bird appears which is able to flap its wings, turn its head and sing, opening its beak. The carving on the gold trunk resembles tiny bark. The tree is “growing” in golden soil which has been sprinkled into a white tub of white quartz decorated with a gold trellis with flower heads at the intersections and a relief laurel garland of translucent green enamel with berries of cabochon ruby, of which the central gem is surrounded with diamonds. Each leg of the tub is also decorated with rubies and diamonds displayed in gold rosettes, and the corners are ornamented with pearls.
- Brass, imitation jewels; decorated with enamel
- Height: 6 1/4 in (16 cm)
- Width: 3 1/8 in (8 cm)
- Weight: 670 grams