FABERGÉ AUCTION HIGHLIGHTS
16 Nov 2012
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AUCTION HIGHLIGHTS


Image courtesy Christie’s Images Ltd 2012

A kovsh is a Russian drinking vessel with a boat-shaped body and a single handle. The earliest ones in the 16th century are very simple, but from the 18th century they gradually became more elaborate. Christie’s will offer this highly important monumental gem-set silver example on 26th November 2012. It was made by Fabergé’s Moscow workshop in 1909 for Emanuel Noble, the oil baron, who was among Fabergé’s most important clients. The fantastic modelling of the piece depicts a hunting scene with falcons centred by a man in traditional Russian dress on a galloping horse. The impressive quality of the piece embodies Fabergé’s distinctive neo-Russian designs in boldly chased silver. The piece measures 53.3cm (21in) and weighs 3986.5 grams (125.3oz). It is estimated at £250,000-350,000 (US$380,000-530,000; €290,000-390,000).



Image courtesy Christie’s Images Ltd 2012

Emperor Nicholas II and Empress Alexandra Feodorovna purchased this Fabergé platinum-mounted diamond and topaz cross in St Petersburg on December 12th 1912 for 1350 roubles, then about £135. Most probably it was a commissioned gift for the Emperor’s sister Grand Duchess Olga Alexandrovna. The pendant is 7.3cm (2.9in) long. It is estimated at £50,000-70,000 (US$76,000-110,000; €57,000-79,000).


Image courtesy Christie’s Images Ltd 2012

This silver-mounted mahogany mantel clock was made by Fabergé’s workmaster Julius Rappoport in about 1890. Of architectural form, the stepped plinth has a foliate mount. The circular silver laurel-leaf bezel  encloses a white enamel dial with an Arabic chapter ring above a central mount cast with a pair of griffins flanking an urn. The clock is 37.4cm (14.7in) high. It is estimated at £300,000-400,000 (US$460,000-750,000; €340,000-560,000).


Image courtesy Christie’s Images Ltd 2012

Fabergé’s workmaster Mikhail Perkhin made this silver gilt and enamel desk clock in about 1890. Of square from, it is enamelled in translucent blue over a wavy sunburst guilloché ground to which radiating tapering bands have been applied. The circular silver laurel-wreath bezel encloses a white dial with Arabic chapters and pierced gold hands. The clock is 10.7cm (4.2in) high. It is estimated at £100,000-150,000 (US$160,000-230,000; €120,000-170,000).


Image courtesy of Sotheby’s

In his memoirs François Birbaum, the House of Fabergé’s Senior Designer from 1896 through to 1917, wrote, ‘When our enamelled flowers were first displayed at the Paris Exhibition in 1900, they were immediately copied by German and Austrian manufacturers and the market was flooded with cheap versions – lacquers in stead of enamels and glass instead of rock crystal in vases.’ As the say, emulation is the highest form of flattery. It is thought that Fabergé only made about 80 flower studies. They are among the most beautiful objects produced by the House. This lot being offered by Sotheby’s on November 27th is from the Estate of Donna Simonetta Colonna, Duchess di Cesarò. Described as being a Fabergé study of cornflower and oats made at St Petersburg in circa 1910, the stems rest at an angle in a cylindrical rock crystal pot carved so that it appears to be filled with water. Its height is 12.7cm (5in). It is estimated at £180,000-250,000 (US$290,000-400,000; €220-000-300,000).


Image courtesy of Sotheby’s

This hardstone inkwell with jewelled gold mounts, was made by Fabergé’s workmaster Mikhail Perkhin. The square nephrite well is suspended in two-colour gold cagework adorned with diamond ribbons and ties. Its domed cover is surmounted by a diamond-set fir cone finial and its gold base is also adorned with diamonds and is topped with nephrite. It has a height of 8.1cm (3.2in). The estimate is £200,000-300,000 (US$320,000-480,000; €240,000-360,000).


Image courtesy of Bonhams

Fabergé’s workmaster Julius Rappoprt made this silver gilt, enamel and hardstone mantel clock in the period 1899-1908. It is set upon a stepped bowenite base applied with palmettes. The facade of the clock is strawberry red enamel over a sun-ray engine-turned ground. The white enamel dial with Arabic chapters and gold pierced hands is set within a bezel of tied laurel. The enamel front is further embellished with double berried tied wreaths against a bar and palmettes in each corner. The clock’s upper chamfered corners are surmounted by winged eagles supporting further wreaths tied with trailing ribbons. The stepped entablature is applied with rosettes and anthemion and is surmounted by spherical finials. The curved pediment has a pierced spherical finial at its apex. The clock has a height of 33.5cm (13in). Bonhams will offer the piece on November 28th. The piece is estimated at £250,000-350,000 (US$410,000-570,000; €310,000-440,000).