A HISTORIC TURN-OF-CENTURY AQUAMARINE AND DIAMOND PENDANT NECKLET
The pendant comprising an oval faceted aquamarine, within an old-cut diamond-set border, with three diamond foliate drops, to a diamond surmount with width measuring approximately 2.3cm, all in a fine platinum millegrain-setting attached to a platinum chain, purchased by Dowager Empress Maria Fedorovna of Russia on 28th of July 1912 for 260 roubles. £125,000
Fabergé was a jewellery firm founded in 1842 in St Petersburg by Gustav Fabergé The company flourished under the directorship of his son Peter Carl Fabergé, until the firm was nationalised by the Bolsheviks in 1918. In 1885, the firm was bestowed with the coveted title “Goldsmith by special appointment to the Imperial Crown”, beginning an association with the Russian Tsars. Fabergé won international awards and became Russia’s largest jewellery firm employing some 500 craftsmen and designers. In the early 20th century, the headquarters of the House moved to a purpose-built, four-storey building in St Petersburg. With branches were also opened in Moscow, Odessa, Kiev and London.
At the turn of the century, the St Petersburg workmasters of Fabergé were influenced by the art and fashion of continental Europe and specially those of Paris, and made jewellery and objects of art appropriate for a European Imperial Court, using the most advanced techniques. The use of platinum as a metal to set diamonds by Faberge and others such as Cartier allowed the creation, of lighter and more elegant jewels, especially in the form of the French Neo- Louis XVI style, known as Edwardian or Belle époque.
For Fabergé, according to H.C. Bainbridge, a woman was exquisitely furnished with her own beauty of form, line and colour. Fabergé adorned her with delicate shades of meaning in stones of rare beauty but little worth such as aquamarine, tourmaline, moonstone Siberian amethyst and rock crystal, surrounded simply with small diamonds. In other words, he gave woman colour and light, enhancing her charm and feminine curve with jewels both delicate and elegant.
The pendant necklace was a gift from D.E.M.F. to August Marie Utke Ramsing (1875-1959) who was lady-in-waiting to Princess Margethe of Denmark, and thence by descent to the present owner. The pendant necklet still retain its original fitted wooden case stamped St Petersburg, Moscow and London, made by Fabergé.