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AN IMPORTANT JEWELLED GOLD AND PLATINUM MOSAIC BROOCH
AN IMPORTANT JEWELLED GOLD AND PLATINUM MOSAIC BROOCH
AN IMPORTANT JEWELLED GOLD AND PLATINUM MOSAIC BROOCH
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AN IMPORTANT JEWELLED GOLD AND PLATINUM MOSAIC BROOCH
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AN IMPORTANT JEWELLED GOLD AND PLATINUM MOSAIC BROOCH

BY FABERGÉ, ST PETERSBURG, CIRCA 1913, SCRATCHED INVENTORY NUMBER 97142

Details
AN IMPORTANT JEWELLED GOLD AND PLATINUM MOSAIC BROOCH
BY FABERGÉ, ST PETERSBURG, CIRCA 1913, SCRATCHED INVENTORY NUMBER 97142
Rectangular with cut corners, the platinum trellis-work panel set with diamonds, rubies, topaz, sapphires, demantoids, garnets and emeralds, depicting a bouquet of flowers in a mosaic manner to imitate embroidery, with a gold pin and a safety chain, apparently unmarked, with a French import mark
1 5⁄8 in. (4.3 cm.) long
Provenance
Anonymous sale; Christie's, Geneva, 26 May 1993, lot 483.
Literature
A. von Solodkoff, Fabergé, Juwelier des Zarenhofes, Heidelberg, 1995, p. 204, no. 220 (illustrated).
U. Tillander-Godenhielm, Smycken: Från Det Kejserliga S:t Petersburg, Helsinki, 1996, p. 171, no. 180 (illustrated).
Exhibition catalogue, Carl Fabergé, Goldsmith to the Tsar, Stockholm, 1997, p. 209, no. 235 (illustrated).
G. von Habsburg, Fabergé: Imperial Craftsman and His World, London, 2000, p. 294, no. 766 (illustrated).
Exhibition catalogue, Fabergé - Cartier, Rivalen am Zarenhof, Munich, 2003, illustrated p. 278, no. 431 (illustrated).
Exhibition catalogue, Fabergé, Joaillier des Romanov, 2006, p. 197, no. 154.
Exhibition catalogue, Fabergé and the Russian Jewellers, London, 2006, p. 107, no. 285 (illustrated).
Exhibition catalogue, Carl Fabergé. A Private Collection, London, 2012, pp. 176-177, no. 148 (illustrated).
U. Tillander-Godenhielm, Fabergé His Masters and Artisans, Helsinki, 2018, p. 157 (illustrated).
Exhibited
Hamburg, Kunstgewerbemuseum, Fabergé, Juweilier des Zarenhofes, 12 April - 25 June 1995, no. 220.
Washington D.C., Corcoran Gallery of Art, Fabergé and Finland: Exquisite Objects, 17 October 1996 - 5 January 1997.
Stockholm, Nationalmuseum, Carl Fabergé, Goldsmith to the Tsar, 6 - 19 October 1997, no. 235.
Wilmington, Riverfront Arts Centre, Fabergé, Imperial Craftsman and his World, 14 August 2000 - 28 February 2001, no. 766.
Munich, Kunsthalle der Hypo-Kulturstiftung, Fabergé/Cartier, Rivals at the Tsars Court, 28 November 2003 - 12 April 2004, no. 431.
Brussels, Espace Culturel ING, Fabergé, Joaillier des Romanov, 19 October - 5 February 2006, no. 154.
London, Wartski, Fabergé and the Russian Jewellers, 10 - 20 May 2006, no. 285.
London, Wartski, Carl Fabergé. A Private Collection, 15 - 25 May 2012, no. 148.

Brought to you by

Margo Oganesian
Margo Oganesian Specialist, Co-Head of Sale, Works of Art

Lot Essay

The mosaic design of this incredibly delicate and rare brooch is one of the most imaginative and recognisable designs produced by Fabergé. The same technique was used for the Imperial Mosaic Egg presented by Emperor Nicholas II to his wife Alexandra Feodorovna in 1914, now part of the Royal Collection.

The Mosaic Egg was designed by Alma Pihl (1888-1976) and executed by her uncle Albert Holmström. Alma was largely self-taught. Her mother Fanny Holmström was the daughter of Fabergé’s workmaster, August Holmström, and her father Oscar Pihl was head of Fabergé’s jewellery workshop in Moscow. In 1908, at the age of twenty, Alma started to work for her uncle Albert Holmström, rendering life-size designs in watercolour to provide archival records of what the workshop was creating. In her spare time, Pihl sketched designs of her own. Her ingenious ideas were quickly noticed and soon her work became part of Fabergé’s stock book, including her famous mosaic and snowflake designs.

An original design for a comparable brooch by Alma Pihl dated 24 July 1913 is preserved in the Holmström archive (see K. Snowman, Fabergé: Lost and Found, London, 1993, pp. 142-143). Purportedly, Alma Pihl was inspired to produce this motif when she watched her mother-in-law do needlework by the fireside. This technique required the most skillful jewellers, as each miniature stone had to be calibré-cut in such a way that it would perfectly fit into the square holes of the platinum mesh, which was also cut by hand. The shimmering stones imitate an embroidered fabric with a brightly-coloured Russian floral motif.

This brooch is undoubtedly one of the rarest and most important jewellery pieces by Fabergé to appear on the market. It is the only example of the iconic mosaic design known to exist, apart from the Imperial Mosaic Egg.

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