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A Fabergé two-color gold, moonstone, & 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 & 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 & 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, & other leading jewelers utilizing the stone’s subtle, elegant tones to decorate both vessels & jewelry. Fabergé’s designers selected different tones of moonstone, probably mined from the large deposits in Armenia & Poland, & 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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