A gold case by Fabergé



the reeded yellow gold case with a cabochon sapphire thumb-piece, contained in its original silk and velvet lined fitted hollywood box, the lid silk stamped with the Imperial Warrant and ‘Fabergé, St. Petersburg, Moscow, London’ in Cyrillic, with additional case sleeve.

Workmaster: August Hollming, St. Petersburg,  circa 1908.


8.5cm by 5.6cm by 1.4cm


Purchased from Fabergé’s  London branch by Count Alexander Benckendorff

In 1903, the Anglophile Count Alexander Benckendorff was appointed Russian Ambassador to London. Previously the Ambassador to Copenhagen, he was a protégé of the Dowager Empress Maria Feodorovna, who was Danish by birth and suspicious of Germany. The Empress and King Edward VII had engineered his promotion to London in an attempt to improve ties between their nations. Benckendorff’s pro-British stance and the relationships he nurtured in London helped bring about an Anglo-Russian rapprochement to counter the German menace. Benckendorff recognised the importance of personal contacts in diplomacy and staffed the London Embassy with wealthy and cultured officials. They assimilated easily into English society and promoted Russian interests from within its ranks. The resources available to the Russians allowed them to entertain grandly. Hwfa Williams remembered that they ‘lived in almost
Oriental magnificence, and the parties they gave were on a lavish scale.’

The embassy staff added to the perception of Oriental splendour by making repeated purchases from Fabergé. They were frequent visitors to the firm’s London branch and used its fashionable stock as a source of gifts for their English hosts.