We continue our conversation about stone-cutting art. Today I present to your attention Faberge stone carved figurines of birds from the British Royal Fund.
Separately, we can highlight the realistic figurines of birds created by Faberge masters. According to the memoirs of contemporaries, Carl Faberge himself was fond of ornithology and sketched various birds in his notebook. Photographs of Fabergé’s design room on the top floor of his headquarters in St. Petersburg show a wide variety of wax models of animals and birds, as well as several stuffed animals used by the sculptors.
The pelican, symbolizing self-sacrifice and maternal love, was the personal emblem of Tsarina Maria Feodorovna. Faberge used a pelican as the theme for an Imperial Easter Egg made for her in 1898. The pelican from the collection of the kings of Great Britain was bought by the Grand Duke Michael in the London branch of Faberge in November 1915. It is believed to have been given as a Christmas present to King George V or Queen Mary.
The manufacture of silverware, both decorative and functional, constituted a large part of Fabergé’s production. These were items for decorating the dining table, the so-called “surtouts de table”, used to store spices or sweets, sets and cutlery, writing utensils, paperweights. A silver woodcock similar to this one is in the collection of the State Hermitage.
This image of a dark jade kingfisher seems unusual.
But let’s not forget that at the beginning of the 20th century there was a high interest in oriental art. This passion was reflected in the works of the Fabergé masters. Quite a lot of stone-cut figurines made in the netsuke style are known. The stylized geometric design of this bird is similar to the netsuke carving type known in Japan as “Itobon”.
The Royal Collection contains seven Faberge compositions with birds on perches or in cages, made by the leading stonecutter and jeweler of the company – Mikhail Perkhin.
The extraordinary detailing of the carvings on such a small scale vividly demonstrates the skill of Faberge hard stone carvers.
Faberge sculptors and stone-cutters made models and sketches of future figurines from life, and the products themselves were made in Russia.
Figures of a chicken (agate, gold, diamonds), a duckling (aventurine, gold, diamonds), a goose (quartzite, obsidian, gold, diamonds) and a duckling (aventurine, gold, sapphires)