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A RUSSIAN SILVER-GILT MOUNTED AMARANTH WOOD SALVER
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A RUSSIAN SILVER-GILT MOUNTED AMARANTH WOOD SALVER

MARKED FABERGÉ WITH THE IMPERIAL WARRANT, MOSCOW, 1908-1917, WITH SCRATCHED INVENTORY NUMBER 40634

Details
A RUSSIAN SILVER-GILT MOUNTED AMARANTH WOOD SALVER
MARKED FABERGÉ WITH THE IMPERIAL WARRANT, MOSCOW, 1908-1917, WITH SCRATCHED INVENTORY NUMBER 40634
Circular, carved with circular flared foot, the shallow plate applied around the horizontal border with foliate mounts, marked on rim, 35 cm. diameter.
Provenance
Displayed on a table in the drawing room of the private apartment of H.R.H. The Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon (1930-2002) at Kensington Palace.
Special Notice

This lot is offered without reserve.
No VAT will be charged on the hammer price, but VAT at 15% will be added to the buyer's premium which is invoiced on a VAT inclusive basis.

Lot Essay

Moscow was the centre for traditional works by Fabergé. For the rich Russian merchants wood was the traditional material for buildings and utensils in Russia. Whilst Fabergé produced articles from both the Moscow and St. Petersburg workshops in wood, the Moscow workshops were renowned for the quality of metalwork and tended more to the traditional Russian rather than the more western European tastes of the St. Petersburg Court.

Fabergé, well known to choose materials for their aesthetic qualities above intrinsic values, used polished woods for their colour and grain, carefully complementing the piece with the simplest or most elaborate jewelled mounts. Many of the larger known pieces follow the pan-Slavic, Art Nouveau or, as in the present salver and a table (sold at Christies, London, 25 November 2003, lot 82), neo-Classical styles. Two large circular oak presentation plates, one with jewelled silver mystical bird mounts from the Moscow workshops, another with lavish neo-classical floral scroll mounts, by August Hollming, St. Petersburg, were presented to their Imperial Majesties in 1903 and are now in the Hermitage, St. Peterburg (inv. ERO-5424 and -5424), (G. von Habsburg and M. Lopato, Exhibition catalogue, Fabergé: Imperial Jeweller, St. Petersburg, State Hermitage, Paris, Musée des Arts Decoratifs, London, Victoria and Albert Museum, June 1993 - April 1994, nos. 153 and 154, p.284-287).

These two plates support the suggestion in Kieran McCarthy's article on works in wood by Fabergé, that the woodwork may all have been supplied by the same workshop in St. Peterbsurg, 'run by the Finnish carpenters Käki, Kämära and Ampuja', who also 'made the boxes in which pieces were sold'. He goes on to state: 'Almost all the objects which the firm supplied in metals and hardstones, were also offered in wood.' and ends by mention of the last Imperial egg commissioned for 1917 by Nicholas II for his mother, the Dowager Empress Maria Feodorovna, 'in Karelian birch', which was tragically never delivered. (K. McCarthy, 'Forgotten Fabergé', Antique Dealers and Collectors Guide, vol.57, nos.10 & 11, May-June 2004, pp.40-42).

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