Frame, Carl Fabergé, c.1903-1908

Enamel, Gold and Pearls


of square shape, decorated with a delicate lilac enamel over a wavy guillochage ground, centred by a square aperture with a seed pearl border, the outer rim decorated with a ‘dot and dash’ gold surround, supported by a scrolling gold strut with suspension ring.

Chief Workmaster: Henrik Wigström
St Petersburg, c.1903-1908
Inventory Number: 15459

Height and Width: 7.7cm


The firm devoted considerable attention to enamelling, installing a special workshop headed by Nicholas Petrov, to meet the considerable challenges of creating the finest enamels. Henry Bainbridge, the manager of Fabergé’s London shop, described the enamelling workshops as ‘research laboratories.’

The frame is decorated with a fine guilloché enamel, made to replicate the texture and shine of moiré silk. This is achieved by annealing and then engraving the plate before it is covered with a layer of enamel. The flux is adhered to the metal by firing it in a hand fed kiln at temperatures of over eight hundred degrees Celsius. To ensure the perfect distribution of colour and translucency, many layers were applied, fired and polished.

Fabergé’s enamel kiln; the enamellers placing an object in the kiln for firing.