Photograph Frame, Carl Faberge, c.1890

Nephrite and gold


a circular panel of Siberian nephrite centred with a domed glass aperture held in a reeded gold bezel, encircled by undulating trails of finely chased laurel leaves in green gold intertwined with a reeded circle of rose gold, surrounded by a dot and dash border and surmounted by a tied gold bow, supported on a scrolled gold strut and backed with ivory.

Chief Workmaster: Michael Perchin
St Petersburg, c.1890

Height: 9cm
Diameter: 8.1cm

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.”