Katherine welcomes The Treasure House Fair to Wartski


“I’ve come to St. James’s Street, SW1 to talk to Katherine Purcell about her role as joint managing director of Wartski and what it’s like to be one of the few women prominent in the world of antique jewellery. So it comes as a surprise to find myself standing in a room lined with dove grey velvet holding a strawberry-red coal scuttle. It is, Katherine tells me, one of the two most exquisite examples of Fabergé’s hand-engraved enamel work that she has ever seen. Handing me a loupe, she urges me to turn it in my fingers, to admire the complexity of the gold rococo decoration that appears to bounce through the translucent enamel. The diamond-set bonbonnière measures just 3.1cm and sits on tiny paw feet. ‘It’s the scrollwork cut to different depths that’s achieving the reflections you see when you move it in the light. To think that this extraordinary engraving was done entirely by hand; it’s such a miracle’.”




A gold and cloisonné enamelled locket in the Japanese taste by Alexis Falize, exhibited at the Union Centrale des Arts Décoratifs in 1869. It is highly unusual in being decorated on all four faces.