Gold, silver gilt and nephrite frameFaberge, Workmaster Hjalmar Armfelt, St. Petersburg, 1898-1908,
Lot 205
A gold, silver gilt and nephrite frameFabergé, workmaster Hjalmar Armfelt, St. Petersburg, 1898-1908, scratched inventory number 13581
Sold for £84,000 (US$ 142,857) inc. premium
Auction Details
Gold, silver gilt and nephrite frameFaberge, Workmaster Hjalmar Armfelt, St. Petersburg, 1898-1908,
Lot Details
A gold, silver gilt and nephrite frame
Fabergé, workmaster Hjalmar Armfelt, St. Petersburg, 1898-1908, scratched inventory number 13581
arched with projecting corners and bracket feet, applied with varicoloured gold floral swags suspended from cabochon rubies, the feet with similar cabochon oval mounts, the rectangular aperture with laurel-chased border containing photograph of a lady, the mother of pearl back with gilt suspension loop and hinged scrolling strut; contained in original silk-lined case with retailer's stamp, 88 standard marked on strut
height: 12.9cm (5in). (2)

Footnotes

  • Provenance:
    Private collection, England.

    This frame was purchased by the consignor's grandfather, a French diplomat working at the French Embassy from 1924-1941, and who oversaw the transfer of the Embassy from St.Petersburg to Moscow. By repute, he acquired the frame at the Palace of Livadya sale in 1932 where it had previously been in the collection of Tsar Nicholas II's sister, Grand Duchess Xenia.

    The offered lot is a distillation of some of Fabergé’s best known design preferences. Upon opening the plain wooden box revealing an architectural object, a reference is made to the late nineteenth century revival of the Kustar industries but with a particular twist. Here it is successfully
    married with the French eighteenth century techniques of adding silver, copper and platinum to gold to produce varicoloured swags. The delicate ribbons and cabochon punctuation marks, all characteristic of the Fabergé style with their Western references are carefully tempered by the use of a favourite hardstone. The nephrite panel with its rich spinach green tones would have
    been specially selected from the stock of Siberian jade for evenness of colour. This would have been a conscious decision for an object perhaps placed near a window where its translucency would be revealed, all the while setting off the gold and jewelled accents to their best advantage.

    For a similar nephrite example in the Queen's collection, see von Habsburg, Faberge, Vendome Press 1987, pl 251, p. 174 and Caroline de Guitaut, Fabergé in the Royal Collection, 2003, plate 232, p. 183.
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