A Fabergé two-color gold, moonstone, and diamond brooch, Moscow, 1908-1917. The oblong bar brooch centered with a cabochon sugarloaf moonstone flanked by rose diamond-set floral bands within a chased green gold laurel leaf border, struck with Cyrillic initials KF and 56 standard (equivalent to 14K). Length: 2 3/8 in. (6.2 cm).
Provenance: Christie’s Geneva, 18 November 1980, lot 36.
Moonstone, a feldspathic semi-precious stone, became popular in the classical world for its pale shimmer; both the Romans and Greeks believed that the stone’s icy glow was caused by moonbeams captured in the stone. The stone enjoyed a revival of popularity around 1900 with Lalique, Fabergé, and other leading jewelers utilizing the stone’s subtle, elegant tones to decorate both vessels and jewelry. Fabergé’s designers selected different tones of moonstone, probably mined from the large deposits in Armenia and Poland, and contrasted their subtle glow with the bright white of the rose-cut diamond in silver mounts. In the case of this brooch, the difference is heightened with the use of two-color gold.
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