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Frame, Carl Fabergé, 1903-1908

Nephrite, gold, rubies and diamonds

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A16662 Wartski Masterpiece2979

formed from a rectangular piece of Siberian nephrite centred with an oval aperture suspended from a bow, set with rose cut diamonds, the bow centred with a cabochon ruby, a scrolling gold strut to the reverse with suspension loop.

Chief Workmaster: Henrik Wigström
St Petersburg, 1903-1908

Height: 10.2cm
Width: 6.4cm

 

 The striking composition of the aperture, which is seemingly suspended beneath a bow, is derived from the 18th Century convention for displaying portrait miniatures.

Siberian Nephrite

Fabergé sourced nephrite from Irkutsk in Siberia, where it was found in vast boulders. The only way to move these gigantic stones was during the winter, when the ground was frozen. It was then carefully worked by lapidaries to extract pieces of the finest colour and figuring.

Franz Birbaum, who was the manager of Fabergé’s workshop, recalled the finest dark green variety of nephrite became translucent when cut into thin sheets and acquires “a wonderful dense green colour.”