Pentray, Carl Fabergé, c.1896-1908

Siberian Nephrite, Gold and Enamel


carved from a single piece of finely figured Siberian nephrite, the semi-circular recess bordered by two yellow gold bands with white champlevé enamel chevrons and beading.

Moscow, 1896-1908

Length 18.1cm
Width 5.9cm
Height 2.8cm



Siberian Nephrite

Fabergé sourced nephrite from Irkutsk in Siberia, where it was found in vast boulders. The only way to move these gigantic stones was during the winter, when the ground was frozen. It was then carefully worked by lapidaries to extract pieces of the finest colour and figuring.

Franz Birbaum, who was the manager of Fabergé’s workshop, recalled the finest dark green variety of nephrite became translucent when cut into thin sheets and acquires “a wonderful dense green colour.”