Lion, Carl Fabergé, c.1900

Aventurine quartz and diamonds

A16589 Faberge lion view 04

modelled as a seated lion looking over its shoulder, carved from a single piece of aventurine quartz, the eyes mounted with rose cut diamonds.

St Petersburg, c.1900

Length: 4.3cm
Height: 2.2cm

The distinctive form of this animal study, depicting a seated lion gazing across its shoulder, is derived from a Japanese netsuke carving. Carl Fabergé owned a significant collection of Japanese works of art, in particular netsuke, which proved to be a valuable source of inspiration. Franz Birbaum, who managed Fabergé’s workshop, mentioned in his memoirs that it was the firm’s acquaintance with Chinese and Japanese works of art which ‘first stimulated [them] to produce work of this kind.’

For an article which considers the influence of Japan on Fabergé’s work, please click on the link below:

Faberge & Japan, The Antique Collector, 1987