A carved hardstone model of a street painter
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A carved hardstone model of a street painter


A carved hardstone model of a street painter
by Fabergé, modeller Boris Fredman Cluzel, Petrograd, 1914-17, engraved 'Faberge 1916' under left foot and 'N25724' under right foot
Humoristically carved, the face and hands of cachalong, the eyes of sapphire, the shirt with inlaid smudges, the cap and boots of jasper, holding in his right hand two silver-mounted brushes of lapis lazuli and rhodonite over his right shoulder, with a jasper bucket on his back, the bottom of the bucket set with lapis lazuli, engraved under feet, in original silk lined wood box, stamped in Russian 'Jeweller to the Court K.Fabergé Petrograd Moscow Odessa London'
5¾in. (14.6cm.) high
Private Swedish Collection
A. von Solodkoff, A. Fabergé's hardstone figures in Munich Kuntshalle of the Hypo Kulturstiftung, Fabegé, (Munich, 1986), p.86, n.38
F.Birbaum. The History of the House of Fabergé according to the recollections of the senior master craftsmen of the firm Franz Birbaum, published by T.Fabegé and V.Skurlov (St. Petersburg, 1992), p.30
V.Skurlov. Boris Oskarovich Fredman-Cluzel, artist and sculptor of the Fabergé firm, in Fabergé, T.,A.Gorina & V.Skurlov, Fabergé and the St.Petersburg Jewellers, (St.Petersburg, 1997), pp.590, 596 and 598.
Stockholm, National Mauseum, Carl Fabergé, Goldsmith to the Tsar (1997) page 98 no. 22, illustrated.
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Lot Essay

One of about 60 individual hardstone figures which Franz Birbaum in his memoirs regards as 'the most remarkable stone creations', the figure of a street painter is one of the very few which are remembered and described, 'The most successful human figures were: a priest....and a painter with a bucket and brushes on his back. The extremely comic effect is achieved by the successful rendering of the proportions of the body. The painter's clothes, daubed with paint and lime, are of speckled Siberian azurite [lapis-lazuli] and Orskaia jasper. The models of these figures were made by the sculptor Fredman-Cluzel'.

in the pure tradition of the Fabergé firm, the most minute details have been taken care of by the sculptor, like the use of lapis-lazuli at the bottom of the bucket to imitate the paint in it or the rough unpolished parts of the trousers to give a far better imitation of the lime. It is worth to notice that a second version of the street painter which is sometimes confused with the first one, has a rodhonite shirt shirt with similar trousers, see Christie's New York 24 October 2002, lot 119.

It is not unusual to see different versions of the same model. For example the figures of John Bull typifying 'the englishman' was executed three times, each time using different stones, see Christie's Geneva, a highly important collection of works of art by carl Fabergé from the collection of the late Sir Charles Clore, footnote of lot 29.
The figure follows the tradition of the Russian porcelain factories of the late 18th and 19th centuries like Popov and Gardner, which in turn were inspired by the publications of J.G.Georgi's work Description de toutes les nations de l'Empire de Russie' in St.Petersburg in 1776-1777, and later of Collection de Cris et Costumes de Paysans et Paysannes de St.Petesbourg, by A.O.Orlovskii in 1825, but also the coloured prints of the book The Magical Lantern published in St.Petersburg in 1817 which include the image of a very similar street painter.

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