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Fabergé

Paperknife, Carl Fabergé, 1912

Carved Nephrite, Gold and Enamel

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Faberge letter openers page hi res studio

the blade fashioned from Siberian nephrite is sleeved with a green gold mount enamelled translucent lilac over a dappled ground, with rounded rectangular yellow gold reserves holding green gold bell flowers, encircled top and bottom with bands of opaque white enamel bound with leaves.

Chief Workmaster: Henrik Wigström,
St. Petersburg, 1912
inventory number: 22661

Length: 31 cm
Width: 4 cm

Provenance

Purchased from Fabergé’s London shop at 173 New Bond Street on 4th December 1915 for £30 by Mrs. Leeds. It is described in the Ledgers as

‘Papercutter, neph, mauve + white opq + gold mt etc.’

Faberge Bond Street
Carl Fabergé’s shop at 173 New Bond Street, London.

Fabergé’s London branch sold some of the firm’s finest pieces. Franz Birbaum, Faberge’s manager of works, recalled in his memoirs that items destined for London possessed a ‘greater simplicity of form and more restrained ornamentation, with special attention being paid to the technical finish’.

Mrs. Leeds was a young and beautiful American heiress. She was one of Fabergé’s most important customers and acquired sixty-five pieces from the firm. She later married Prince Christopher of Greece and became Princess Anastasia of Greece.

The design for the paper cutter is contained within the design album of Fabergé’s Chief Workmaster Henrik Wigström, dated 13th September 1912.

Faberge Wigstrom Design Paperknife
Paperknife design in the Wigström album.