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    Sale 1350

    Magnificent Jewels

    15 November 2007, Geneva

  • Lot 268

    A RARE 18TH CENTURY MULTI-GEM AND DIAMOND EAGLE BROOCH

    Price Realised  

    A RARE 18TH CENTURY MULTI-GEM AND DIAMOND EAGLE BROOCH
    The eagle, perched on a flowering branch, its wings spread and clasping a yellow diamond briolette in its beak, set throughout with cushion-shaped emeralds, rubies, sapphires and diamonds, mounted in silver and gold, circa 1750, 6.0 cm long, scratched inventory mark 4326 . 881018, in a fitted red leather case


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    According to the Wartski catalogue entry, this heraldic eagle was made as a gem-set hair ornament, or aigrette, for Empress Elizabeth Petrovna (1709-1761), the daughter of Peter the Great.

    Fersman describes it as an 'aigrette in the form of an eagle' and 'an elegant example of goldsmith's work'.

    The survival of an eighteenth century jewel is a rare enough occurrence, with most jewels of the period broken up for the gemstones and remounted in more contemporary styles. However, the appearance of two such jewels (this and the following lot) with a recorded provenance to the Imperial Russian Jewels, one of which was created for an Empress, is extremely unusual.

    Provenance

    The Imperial Russian Jewels 1760-1917
    The Union of the Soviet Socialist Republics 1917-1925
    A Consortium of Dealers 1925-1927
    Purchased by S.J. Phillips in 1927 for GBP 180 (equating to just under GBP 100,000 in today's money)


    Literature

    Professor A. E. Fersman (ed.), Russia's Treasure of Diamonds and Precious Stones, Moscow, 1925, cat. no. 190 with plate XCIV, referring to the inventory of 1898, no. 188/189 and the inventory of 1922, no. 470/180

    Christie's London, An Important Assemblage of Magnificent Jewellery: Mostly dating from the 18th Century which formed part of The Russian State Jewels, Wednesday, March 16, 1927, lot 56

    Lord Twining, A History of the Crown Jewels of Europe, London, 1960, p. 555, no. S56


    Exhibited

    Fabergé and the Russian Jewellers, A Loan Exhibition, Wartski, London, 10 to 20 May 2006, cat. no. 3