the tapering column enamelled translucent opalescent oyster over a moiré guillochage surmounted by an oval photograph frame, held in a finely chased matt yellow gold calyx, enamelled with opaque white stripes and entwined with chased gold trails of laurels, the bezel finely set with rose diamonds, surmounted by a large red gold ribbon tied into a bow, with mother of pearl backing, stood on three gadrooned gold feet.
Chief Workmaster: Henrik Wigström, St. Petersburg, 1908-1917, inventory number: 18825, 15.5 cm tall.
Wartski, London, sold 28th September 1968 to R. Smith for £1575.
The Baron and Baroness di Portnaova Collection
Fabergé: Court Jeweller to the Tsars, by G. von Habsburg-Lothringen & A. von Solodkoff, (London, 1979), plate 55.
Fabergé in London, McCarthy, Kieran, (London, 2017), page 221
Columnar frames from Fabergé are unusual. Strut frames are the most common form. The graceful billowing of the gold ribbon surmounting the frame is a testament to the skills of Fabergé’s craftsmen. His goldsmiths have made the rigid metal appear like a slip of silk.
The frame was recorded by Henry Bainbridge, manager of Fabergé’s London branch, on a trip to Faberge’s workshops in St. Petersburg in 1909. He noted it is decorated with ‘wh’ite ‘opal’escent enamel, ‘biggish’ at ‘6 inches high’ and cost ‘525 roubles’.