A Carved Nephrite and Dendritic Agate Box by Carl Fabergé

St Petersburg, 1908-1917

Faberge, Carl Faberge

An enamelled gold and nephrite box mounted with a moss agate panel by Carl Fabergé,

the rectangular body carved from a singe piece of Siberian Jade with canted corners, the hinged yellow gold mount mounted with chased green gold laurel leaves against a red gold ground and enamelled with translucent red berries bound by opaque white enamel ties, topped by moss agate panel with red striations in a frame of gold bell flowers and white enamel berries.

Chief Workmaster: Henrik Wigstrom,
Inventory number: 21438.

8.5cm by 3.6cm by 2.5cm.

Fabergé was especially taken by the patterns which naturally occur within moss-agates.  He knew the stone as Orskaia Jasper and his workshop manager Franz Birbaum wrote of it:

‘Thickets of tress, cliffs, valleys .. and the most varied and unexpected motifs unfold before one’s astonished eyes. Orskaia jasper was mainly used in thin sheets. When a large block was cut into slabs, they were carefully examined by the artist, who chose the most interesting motifs and decided how the stone should be further cut’