This brooch depicts some of the key elements in the success of the Nobel Brothers Company, created in 1879 by Robert, Ludvig and Alfred Nobel. Robert purchased an interest in the oil refinery in 1876 and Ludvig set about organizing the production. Ludvig designed and built the first oil tanker, Zoroaster in 1878 (named after the fire-temple in Surakhany), the first metal oil storage tanks in 1879, and the first railway boiler-type oil cars in Russia in 1881 and built the railway to run them with. These innovations made the company the most successful oil producers in the world. This independant spirit also led to the company being the most philanthropic of the great oil companies in Russia. After the death of Ludvig Nobel, his son, Emmanuel (1855-1932) took over the running of the Company.
Arthur Lessner, from a Baltic family of German extraction, had a neighbouring business to Immanuel Nobel in St. Petersburg, which his son, also Arthur, ran before joining the Nobel's company. The younger Arthur was appointed to chief in Baku for the Nobel Brothers Company in 1903.
For a locket and medallion enamelled with the same elements of design, inscribed for the Nobel Brothers Company, see exhibition catalogue, Carl Fabergé Goldsmith to the Tsar, Stockholm, Nationalmuseum, 1997, pp. 213 and 216, nos. 248 and 258, illustrated.