A chalcedony figure of a playful kittenFabergé, circa 1900

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Lot 110*
A chalcedony figure of a playful kitten
Fabergé, circa 1900

Sold for £ 56,312 (US$ 72,424) inc. premium
A chalcedony figure of a playful kitten
Fabergé, circa 1900
the carved body standing alert and reaching with right paw, with cabochon gem-set eyes
length: 3.7cm (1 7/16in).

Footnotes

  • Provenance
    Caroline, Lady Oppenheimer (1899-1971)
    Then by direct descent

    This particularly animated model demonstrates the carver's mastery lending mischief and curiosity to the playful model while the choice of a graduated stone highlights its face, paws and tail.

    The present owner recalls Lady Oppenheimer dispensing of the kitten's original fitted Fabergé case in a wastepaper basket. This private collector with a large display of Fabergé objects on permanent display had little use for the disarmingly simple hollywood boxes that are appreciated presently. It is not so long ago that fitted cases were considered surplus to requirements by their owners and, while startling to contemporary collectors, their disposal was in keeping with past ownership habits.

    Apart from a kitten commissioned by Edward VII and modelled from life by Fabergé sculptors at Sandringham in 1907, several models of cats in animated and playful poses were sold through the London branch of Fabergé. Queen Alexandra purchased a figure in 1911 described as 'kitten agate 2 rubies' for £15 providing benchmark for the cost of such models. For similar examples see de Guitaut, Fabergé's Animals: A Royal Farm in Miniature, Royal Collection, London, 2010, pp. 58-59, or visit the Royal Collection website www.rct.uk for RCIN 40037 and RCIN 40294.

    For another variant, see von Habsburg, Fabergé, Munich, 1987, cat. 371, p. 206.
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