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Strawberry, Carl Fabergé, c.1900

Gold, enamel, pearls and diamonds

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Faberge strawberry

naturalistically modelled with three painted enamel strawberries and a pearl and diamond set gold flower, with green guilloche enamel stems, gold stalks and carved Siberian nephrite leaves, standing in a carved rock crystal pot.

St Petersburg, c.1900

Illustrated

A similar study of ripening wild strawberries of the same height is in the Royal Collection (RCIN 9123), see Fabergé in the Royal Collection, Caroline de Guitaut, London 2003, number 126.

The extraordinary achievement of Fabergé’s craftsmen was to capture something as fleeting as a ripening strawberry in materials which are permanent and unyielding without losing any of the delicacy of the original. The undulating surface of the barriers and the representation of their achenes or pops in two tones of enamel illustrate the minute observation of nature found in Fabergé’s flower studies. This also extends to the careful recreation of the pot in which the stem stands. Carved from a single piece of pure white rock crystal, even the meniscus of the water is faithfully reproduced.