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A RARE GOLD-MOUNTED ENAMEL, NEPHRITE AND ROCK CRYSTAL STUDY OF WILD STRAWBERRIES
A RARE GOLD-MOUNTED ENAMEL, NEPHRITE AND ROCK CRYSTAL STUDY OF WILD STRAWBERRIES
A RARE GOLD-MOUNTED ENAMEL, NEPHRITE AND ROCK CRYSTAL STUDY OF WILD STRAWBERRIES
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A RARE GOLD-MOUNTED ENAMEL, NEPHRITE AND ROCK CRYSTAL STUDY OF WILD STRAWBERRIES
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A RARE GOLD-MOUNTED ENAMEL, NEPHRITE AND ROCK CRYSTAL STUDY OF WILD STRAWBERRIES

BY FABERGÉ, ST PETERSBURG, CIRCA 1900, SCRATCHED INVENTORY NUMBER 10061

Details
A RARE GOLD-MOUNTED ENAMEL, NEPHRITE AND ROCK CRYSTAL STUDY OF WILD STRAWBERRIES
BY FABERGÉ, ST PETERSBURG, CIRCA 1900, SCRATCHED INVENTORY NUMBER 10061
In a cylindrical rock crystal vase with everted rim, a finely textured gold stem with two nephrite leaves, terminating in five painted enamel strawberries and a seed-pearl and diamond-set flower, set with green enamelled sepals, apparently unmarked
4 in. (10.2 cm.) high
Provenance
Anonymous sale; Sotheby's, New York, 6-8 December 1993, lot 607.
Literature
A.K. Snowman, The Art of Carl Fabergé, London, 1962, pl. LXII.
A. von Solodkoff, Fabergé, Juwelier des Zarenhofes, Heidelberg, 1995, p. 196, no. 210 (illustrated).
Exhibition catalogue, Carl Fabergé, Goldsmith to the Tsar, Stockholm, 1997, p. 93, no. 17 (illustrated).
G. von Habsburg, Fabergé: Imperial Craftsman and His World, London, 2000, p. 315, no. 866 (illustrated).
Exhibition catalogue, Fabergé - Cartier, Rivalen am Zarenhof, Munich, 2003, illustrated p. 260, no. 386 (illustrated).
Exhibition catalogue, Fabergé, Joaillier des Romanov, Brussels, 2006, p. 175, no. 69 (illustrated).
Exhibition catalogue, Carl Fabergé. A Private Collection, London, 2012, pp. 52-53, no. 41 (illustrated).
Exhibited
Hamburg, Kunstgewerbemuseum, Fabergé, Juweilier des Zarenhofes, 12 April - 25 June 1995, no. 210.
Stockholm, Nationalmuseum, Carl Fabergé, Goldsmith to the Tsar, 6 - 19 October 1997, no. 17.
Wilmington, Riverfront Arts Centre, Fabergé, Imperial Craftsman and his World, 14 August 2000 - 28 February 2001, no. 866.
Munich, Kunsthalle der Hypo-Kulturstiftung, Fabergé/Cartier, Rivals at the Tsars Court, 28 November 2003 - 12 April 2004, no. 386.
Brussels, Espace Culturel ING, Fabergé, Joaillier des Romanov, 19 October - 5 February 2006, no. 69.
London, Wartski, Carl Fabergé. A Private Collection, 15 - 25 May 2012, no. 41.

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

Lot Essay

Fabergé's everlasting flower studies were popular among the Russian Imperial family and aristocracy, who were known for their love of flowers and knowledge of botany. St Petersburg was home to countless florists, some of whom supplied Imperial palaces with fresh flowers transported on ice by train from France. With her purchase in 1895 of a yellow rose, Empress Alexandra Feodorovna was the first member of the Imperial family to purchase a flower study by Fabergé. She was soon followed by Empress Maria Feodorovna, her sister Queen Alexandra of England and Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna.

The inventory number on this intricate study of wild strawberries is '10061'. Another model of wild strawberries, purchased by Dowager Empress Maria Feodorovna in April 1911 for 250 roubles, is recorded in the ledgers under number '10062'. It is also known that Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna, who was an avid collector of Fabergé flowers, had two wild strawberry studies in her collection.

The production of flower studies by Fabergé is thought to have begun in the 1880s. The collaborative process involved many skilled artists and goldsmiths of the firm. It began with designs which, according to H.C. Bainbridge, were often executed by Karl Fabergé himself. The work was then carried out in stages: setting the precious stones, enamelling the flowers, adding the gold stalks and grasses, and finally assembling the flowers.

Fabergé's elegant creations were often placed in rock-crystal vases, carved in trompe l'oeil technique from a single piece of rock crystal to give the illusion of water. The shaped golden stems were delicately engraved with fine lines, and the flowers or berries were often executed in enamelled gold.

Another study of wild strawberries by Fabergé is part of the Royal Collection, see C. de Guitaut, Fabergé in the Royal Collection, London, 2003, no. 126.

We are grateful to Dr Valentin Skurlov for his assistance with the research of the present lot.

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