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Lot 0109
A Faberge gold-mounted carved purpurine miniature pendant egg, St Petersburg, circa 1908-1917. The deep red purpurine body contained in a mount of double gold anchors. Height: 7/8 in. (2.2 cm). This design, and versions of it, were popular with members of the Imperial family, many of whom served in the Imperial navy or were enthusiastic yachtsmen. Grand Duke Alexander Mikhailovich, for example, gave his wife Grand Duchess Xenia a number of jeweled miniature egg pendants with naval motifs. Purpurine, a vivid opaque matte red glass, has long been among the most desirable of materials; the intense color often leads viewers to believe that it is a hardstone rather than glass. In Russia, purpurine was first made at the Imperial Glass Factory by Leopoldo Bonafede (1833-1878). Beginning around 1890, Fabergé's workmasters began using a purpurine of an entirely different formula and it has been suggested that the formula might have been provided to him by Sergei Petukhov, a chemist at the Imperial Glass Factory (see H.C. Bainbridge, Peter Carl Fabergé: His Life and Work, London, 1949, 54), although later investigations have not borne out this supposition. On Fabergé's purpurine, see R.R. Harding, et al, "The Composition of an Opaque Red Glass used by Fabergé," The Journal of Gemmology 1989, vol. 21, no. 5: 275-287.

This Jasper52 auction is curated in partnership with John Atzbach, a leading authority in the field of Russian works of art made in and representing the tastes of the late Imperial era (late 17th century to the 1917 Revolution).

He was introduced to the subject at the age of 9, when a neighbor, recognizing his interest, allowed him to examine her collection of Russian enamels. He was immediately intrigued and spent the next several years learning all that he could about Russian silver and enamels, honing his knowledge before he began collecting them himself, fulfilling a childhood dream.

With a lifetime of knowledge in Russian decorative arts, John Atzbach is regularly consulted by collectors, dealers, appraisers, and auction house representatives from around the world. He has been directly involved in the formation of some of the world's finest collections of Russian enamels, Russian porcelains, and Faberge. He greatly enjoys his work and feels very fortunate that his childhood interest could evolve into a lifelong passion that continues to engage him every day.

Please note that this lot has a reserve. When you leave a bid in advance of the auction, submit your maximum. Jasper52 will bid on your behalf as much as necessary to ensure that you meet the reserve price or that you remain in the lead, up to your maximum. The bidder who has submitted the highest bid wins the lot, provided the bid exceeds the reserve price.

  • Domestic: Flat-rate of $30.00 Fed Ex 3 Day Saver to anywhere within the Contiguous U.S.
  • International: Foreign shipping rates are determined by destination.
  • Location: This item ships from Washington.

    Photos, descriptions, and estimates were prepared with the utmost care by a fully certified expert and appraiser. All items in this sale are guaranteed authentic. Please contact us if there is a misrepresentation so that the item can be returned.

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  • Condition

    Some small wear consistent with age and use.

    Buyer's Premium

    • 10%

    Faberge gold-mounted carved purpurine mini pendant egg

    Estimate $8,500 - $12,000Dec 18, 2016