A gem-set and enamel hardstone magot (buddha)Fabergé, circa 1900, marked 'C. Fabergé' in Latin
Lot 87
A gem-set and enamel hardstone magot (buddha)
Fabergé, circa 1900, marked 'C. Fabergé' in Latin
£500,000 - 700,000
US$ 780,000 - 1.1 million

Lot Details
A gem-set and enamel hardstone magot (buddha)Fabergé, circa 1900, marked 'C. Fabergé' in Latin A gem-set and enamel hardstone magot (buddha)Fabergé, circa 1900, marked 'C. Fabergé' in Latin
A gem-set and enamel hardstone magot (buddha)
Fabergé, circa 1900, marked 'C. Fabergé' in Latin
the seated nephrite figure with articulated hands, head and tongue, internally counter-balanced to gently nod and wave, the oyster guilloché enamel girdle set with cabochon garnets between rose-cut diamonds, each three-stone eye of garnet and diamonds, the model further embellished with rose-cut diamond ear studs and a cabochon garnet to the collar
height: 17cm (6 11/16in).

Footnotes

  • LITERATURE
    Faberge Museum Baden-Baden, Isskustvo Fabergé, Kostroma, 2010, p.41

    Faberge integrated oriental influences into some of the firm's most exotic hardstone objects including netsuke-inspired animal carvings, bonsai arrangements and chinoiserie scent bottles. The designs were rarely intended as faithful renderings of Eastern prototypes and were widely interpreted in Russian stones such as nephrite, lapis, rhodonite, jasper, rock crystal and bowenite thus given a Russian twist. Carl Fabergé's own studies of European collections exposed him to Meissen's nodding porcelain figures and other Chinese forms adapted for export. The corpulent talisman of good fortune was not unknown in the West and Fabergé's designers were given latitude to draw from sometimes seemingly disparate design elements to create eclectic fusions.

    Fabergé's commercial links with the court of Siam, first established during the then Grand Duke Nicholas Alexandrovich's tour of Siam in 1891, later reciprocated by reigning King Chulalongkorn of Siam's visit to Russia in 1897, and strengthened after one of his sons was educated in the Corps de Pages, resulted in lavish commissions and exchanges of gifts. Carl Fabergé was invited to visit Siam in 1904 and undertook the voyage four years later, accompanied by a train car of objects bound for Bangkok. His hosts responded by appointing Fabergé court jeweller and enameller to King Chulalongkorn of Siam in 1908. As a result, a multitude of nephrite objects, a favourite hardstone, were integrated into what is now the Thai collection. Seated buddhas were apparently acquired by the Siamese Royal Family and placed in various private palace chapels.

    According to the archives of the Fabergé Museum Baden-Baden, the proposed lot is cited in the Russian Archives and appears in a photograph of one of the Fabergé shops. An analogous example created in bowenite was sold in 2008 as the Onassis Buddha, having been acquired through the firm of Tessiers by Aristotle Onassis. The proposed example was acquired several years earlier into the same European collection where it shared a vitrine with the Onassis Buddha and from which it is now being de-accesioned. Another version, this time a female form, was included as a "pale jade Magot" at an A La Vieille Russie exhibition in New York (Fabergé: A Loan Exhibition for the benefit of The Scholarship Fund of The Manhattan School of Music, 1961, p.79). A Buddha of mixed stones acquired into the Royal Collection originally as a birthday gift to Queen Mary was published as Fabergé in Bainbridge. This variant has since been re-attributed to the firm of Cartier and serves as a striking example of how both firms emulated each other's stock as they strove to supply the same public.
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