A gold, emerald and diamond brooch Fabergé, Moscow 1899-1908, scratch inventory number 29835
Lot 68
A gold, emerald and diamond brooch
Fabergé, Moscow 1899-1908, scratch inventory number 29835
Sold for £16,250 (US$ 26,079) inc. premium

Lot Details
A gold, emerald and diamond brooch
Fabergé, Moscow 1899-1908, scratch inventory number 29835
the openwork emerald frame shaped rectangular with canted corners, set with three diamonds divided by diamond set sprays, surmounted by diamond-set bow, the back fitted with later security clasp; in fitted hollywood case with silk lining stamped for K. Fabergé Moscow St. Petersburg, 56 standard
width: 3.6cm (1 7/16in).

Footnotes

  • PROVENANCE
    Arthur William Webster Woodhouse (1867-1961), CBE.
    Thence by direct descent


    According to family memoirs, the brooch and ring were purchased from Fabergé circa 1901 by the consignors' great-grandfather Arthur William Webster Woodhouse, former Consul General at the British Embassy in St. Petersburg when the Revolution broke out, for his then wife Selina (1872-1951). At the time of the purchase, he would have been acting Consul General in Odessa. The couple later separated and Selina re-married Mikhail Sergeievich Plaoutine. He was arrested in 1917, after which Selina then fled from Russia entrusting her jewellery to British Navy sailors en-route to Siberia. She was eventually reunited with her entire collection upon her return to England.

    Arthur William Webster Woodhouse, known as William, was awarded a CBE for commandeering a train that ensured a number of British citizens reached safety in Scandinavia. He didn't leave Russia until 1918, remaining in post after the British Ambassador, Sir George Buchanan's departure, in order to fulfil his consular duties.

    Ella Cordasco, William and Selina's daughter, remembered the Fabergé branch at 24 Bolshaya Morskaya in St Petersburg thus: "Opulent with plate glass windows set in massive supports of dark red-brown marble (or maybe granite) of a peculiar design which I always thought gave them the appearance of great barrels of treasure. It was a fabulous shop." She goes on to recall that her family "owned a dacha at Levashovo where the Fabergé family also has a dacha but the Fabergés rarely socialised with their neighbours".
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