Paperweight, Carl Fabergé, c.1910
Bowenite and Silver
the oval base carved from a single piece of light green bowenite surmounted by a highly naturalistic study of an anteater in silver.
Workmaster: Karl Gustav Hjalmar Armfelt
St. Petersburg, 1908-1917
91 zolotnik silver standard,
Inventory number ending: 4593
Lost Wax Casting
Fabergé employed professional sculptors to carve the initial wax models required to make these silver studies. Many of them were trained at the Baron Stieglitz School and worked in the design studio located on the top floor of Fabergé’s premises on Bolshaya Morskaya Street, St. Petersburg.
The anteater was born from a mould built around this initial wax model. Molten silver would then have been poured into the mould to form the sculpture. The original wax model was destroyed in the process, so the study is unique. It would then have been carefully finished by hand.
The Royal collection contains a comparable paperweight with a study of Vassilka, King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra’s pet Borzoi, who was gifted to them by Tsar Alexander III and Tsarina Marie Feodorovna (RCIN 40800).