Magot Figurine, Carl Faberge, c.1900
Bowenite, Rubies, Diamonds, Pearls, Gold and Enamel
carved from bowenite in a seated position with its legs crossed, the figure’s cuffs, collar and waistband enamelled vivid scarlet, over a dappled guillochage and edged with rose diamonds, red was the most prized of the enamel colours used by Fabergé, as the silica flux for red contained gold and was the most expensive to create, the collar and waistband suspending large facetted diamonds with natural pearl drops, the eyes set with cabochon rubies and rose diamonds, its earrings miniature ruby and pearl drops.
The figure’s head is mounted to a lead filled silver gilt weight and the hands are finely balance in the cuffs causing then to respectively nod and move when the Magot is touched, the tongue carved from a single ruby lolls simultaneously in the mouth.
St. Petersburg, before 1903.
In its original silk and velvet lined fitted hollywood case, the lid silk stamped in Cyrillic:
‘Fabergé, St. Petersburg, Moscow, Odessa’ beneath the Imperial Warrant.
Fabergé’s inspiration for this figure derives from eighteenth century porcelain Magots by Meissen, with similar movable parts. Fabergé would have had access to works of art by Meissen during his stay in Dresden, as well as through Tsar Nicholas II’s own considerable collection.