A Fabergé rhodonite beaker-form match holder with gold and guilloché enamel mount, workmaster Johan Victor Aarne, St. Petersburg, 1899-1904. The faceted beaker carved of a solid piece of rhodonite, the base with gold mount with a band of green transparent enamel over a hatched ground set between white opaque enamel, raised on three ball feet. Struck with maker’s marks, Fabergé in Cyrillic, and 56 standard (equivalent to 14K). Height 2 ¼ in. (5.8 cm).
A very similar beaker by Aarne mounted with a blossom of gold and a baroque pearl is in the Royal Collection (RCIN 9116). A second beaker, also in the Royal Collection (RCIN 23016), is nearly identical, although it is raised on hen’s feet. The latter piece bears only Fabergé marks, and not those of the workmaster, although it has been attributed to workmaster Henrik Wigström on the basis of a drawing from his design album. It is possible that he was inspired by Aarne’s earlier work or that of chief workmaster Michael Perchin, who finished another rhodonite beaker with gold mounts in Neo-Rococo taste. For the pieces in the Royal Collection, see Caroline de Guitaut, Fabergé in the Royal Collection, London, 2003, cat. nos. 270 and 272, pp. 206-207. The beaker by Perchin was sold Sotheby’s London, 4 June 2013, lot 545.
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