MARK OF FABERGÉ, MAKER'S MARK OF HENRIK WIGSTRÖM, ST PETERSBURG, 1908-1917, 72 STANDARD
Height 14.5 cm.
A realistically chased gold stem with delicately carved nephrite leaves and red agate cherry fruits resting in a cylindrical rock crystal pot.
Flower studies are among the most desirable and unforgettable objects of fantasy made by Fabergé. Only a small number of wild cherry studies are known to exist, most notably, one in the British Royal collection which was purchased by Queen Alexandra who, having been introduced to Fabergé by her sister Empress Alexandra Feodorovna, became one of the most prominent and avid collectors. Another very similar study was sold at Christie’s auction 200 Works of Art by Carl Fabergé on November 17, 1981 (lot 199).
Having acquired the title of Supplier to the Court from Tsar Alexander III on May 1, 1885, Fabergé had full access to the important Hermitage Collection, where he was able not only to study but also to find inspiration for developing his unique style. Influenced by the jewelled bouquets created by the eighteenth century goldsmiths, Jean-Jacques Duval and Jeremie Pauzie, Fabergé re-worked their ideas, combining them with his accurate observations and fascination for Japanese art.
Unlike his predecessors who favoured larger and stylised compositions, Fabergé drew his inspiration from nature, preferring to use wild flowers and trees rather than cultivated ones as his models, to create the illusion of them having just been cut and placed in a pot of water.
The refined craftsmanship manifests itself in the accurate botanical observations, the ingenious choice of precious and semi-precious materials and the remarkable precision of technical execution. These highly decorative objects brought Fabergé great commercial success and they quickly became one of the most coveted and expensive presents.