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AN IMPORTANT GEM-SET TWO-COLOUR GOLD CIGARETTE CASE
AN IMPORTANT GEM-SET TWO-COLOUR GOLD CIGARETTE CASE
AN IMPORTANT GEM-SET TWO-COLOUR GOLD CIGARETTE CASE
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AN IMPORTANT GEM-SET TWO-COLOUR GOLD CIGARETTE CASE
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These lots have been imported from outside the EU … Read more PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE EUROPEAN COLLECTION
AN IMPORTANT GEM-SET TWO-COLOUR GOLD CIGARETTE CASE

MARKED FABERGÉ, WITH THE WORKMASTER'S MARK OF AUGUST HOLLMING, ST PETERSBURG, CIRCA 1902, SCRATCHED INVENTORY NUMBER 6220

Details
AN IMPORTANT GEM-SET TWO-COLOUR GOLD CIGARETTE CASE
MARKED FABERGÉ, WITH THE WORKMASTER'S MARK OF AUGUST HOLLMING, ST PETERSBURG, CIRCA 1902, SCRATCHED INVENTORY NUMBER 6220
Rectangular with rounded corners, the hinged cover, sides and base chased with interlocking wavy design in rose and yellow gold, with a cabochon sapphire thumb-piece, with tinder cord and vesta compartment, the inside cover engraved in facsimile handwriting of Grand Duke Michael Alexandrovich in Russian 'In memory of our / useful lessons. / From a grateful / student / To Sergei Yulievich Witte / 1899-1902. / Mikhail', marked inside base and cover
3 7/8 in. (10 cm.) long
Provenance
A gift to Count Sergei Witte (1849-1915), the first Prime Minister of the Russian Empire, from Grand Duke Michael Alexandrovich (1878-1918) in 1902.
Special Notice

These lots have been imported from outside the EU or, if the UK has withdrawn from the EU without an agreed transition deal, from outside of the UK for sale and placed under the Temporary Admission regime. Import VAT is payable at 5% on the hammer price. VAT at 20% will be added to the buyer’s premium but will not be shown separately on our invoice.

Brought to you by

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

Lot Essay

Count Sergei Yulievich Witte was a famous Russian statesman who served as the Minister of Finance in 1892-1903 and the first Russian Prime Minister in 1905-1906. He is widely considered as one of the key figures in Russian politics at the turn of the 20th century.

The present cigarette case was a personal gift from Grand Duke Michael Alexandrovich, son of Emperor Alexander III, to Sergei Witte in memory of the lessons on Political Economy and State Finance that Witte gave him between 1899 and 1902. Sergei Witte wrote in his Memoirs: ‘The Grand Duke truly enjoyed studying with me, and very often between lectures I have to talk to him, sometimes even have breakfast or drive through the park together’ (D. Bulanin, S. Iu. Witte. Memoirs, Vol. 1, St Petersburg, 2003, p. 586).

Sergei Witte served as Minister of Finance from 1892 to 1903, and presided over extensive industrialisation in Russia. He was considered to be one of the most progressive ministers at the time. Towards the end of his life, Alexander III told his son, future Nicholas II, to listen well to Witte, his most capable minister.

The intricate rose and yellow gold design on the present cigarette case evokes the repeated wave and ripple patterns from the Japanese design books Hamonshu. First published in 1903, Hamonshu provided elegant nature-inspired illustrations to craftsmen looking for inspiration. A comparable cigarette case of the same design from the collection of King George I of the Hellenes was sold at Christie's, London, 24-25 January 2007, lot 415. For other similarly designed cigarette cases by Fabergé, see Exhibition catalogue, Japonisme: from Falize to Fabergé, London, 2011, nos. 205-208.

AN IMPORTANT GEM-SET TWO-COLOUR GOLD CIGARETTE CASE

Русская версия

19802-an-important-gem-set-two-colour-gold-cigarette-case-russian-art

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