Your share link is...

  Close

Henrik Emanuel Wigström (1862-1923)

Box with enamelled view of Peter the Great's Monument  1903

Gold, enamel, sepia enamel | 2.6 x 6.8 cm | RCIN 40489

  • This box has views in enamel of two monuments in St Petersburg: the statue of Peter the Great and the Sts Peter and Paul Fortress (on the underside). The monument was commissioned by Catherine the Great from the French sculptor Etienne Falconet (1716-91) to glorify Peter the Great's absolutism and was completed in 1782. It was placed beside the Neva river on a massive rock pedestal which had been brought from the village of Lakhta, outside St Petersburg. Erected at the command of Peter the Great in 1703, the Sts Peter and Paul Fortress marks the foundation of St Petersburg as the new capital of Russia. It is the burial site of Peter the Great and all subsequent tsars. This box was probably made in 1903 to coincide with the two hundredth anniversary of St Petersburg. Mark of Henrik Wigström; gold mark of 72 zolotniks (1896-1908) Text adapted from Fabergé in the Royal Collection

    Provenance

    Probably acquired by King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra, date unknown
  • Creator(s)

    Search the collection

    Henrik Emanuel Wigström (1862-1923) (workmaster)

    Search the collection

    Fabergé (jeweller) [

    The House of Fabergé was the greatest Russian jewellery firm of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.  It is most famous today for the spectacular Imperial Easter Eggs produced for the Russian royal family, but almost six hundred of its other creations are also represented in the Royal Collection. These include exquisite animal sculptures, cigarette cases and presentation boxes, as well as flower carvings, photograph frames and jewellery.

    Fabergé pieces largely entered the Collection as gifts exchanged by the Russian, Danish and British royal families.  Queen Alexandra, the wife of King Edward VII, frequently received Fabergé works as birthday and Christmas presents from her sister, Tsarina Marie Feodorovna of Russia.  King Edward VII meanwhile expanded the collection by commissioning portrait sculptures of his favourite pets and other animals on the Sandringham Estate.

    Although the Russian Revolution forced the Fabergé firm's closure in 1918, royal fascination with its work endured.  In the 1930s, King George V and Queen Mary purchased the three Imperial Easter Eggs now in the Collection – the Basket of Flowers Egg, the Colonnade Egg and the Mosaic Egg.  Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother also formed an outstanding collection of flower sculptures, ornaments and boxes.

    The House of Fabergé was founded in 1842 in St Petersburg, by Gustav Fabergé, a master goldsmith of French extraction.  After 1872, his son, Peter Carl, took over the running of the firm and quickly transformed it into a large enterprise with several separate workshops.  It became renowned for its intricate hardstone carvings and for the use of precious stones and transparent (guilloché) enamel to embellish coloured gold.  Under Carl Fabergé, three of the very best craftsmen were promoted to the position of head workmaster.  Pieces by Erik Kollin (1872-1886), Michael Perchin (1886-1903) and Henry Wigström (1903-1917) are all represented in the Royal Collection.

    In 1885, the firm was awarded a warrant as official supplier to the imperial court.  It was also in this year that the Tsar commissioned the first Imperial Easter Egg, starting an annual tradition which would showcase some of the firm's most inventive and sophisticated craftsmanship.  A London branch was opened in 1900 under the management of H.C. Bainbridge, and quickly became a favourite haunt of the British royal family and their circle.  At its peak, the Fabergé business employed almost five hundred craftsmen.

    ]

    Acquirer(s)

    Search the collection

    King Edward VII, King of the United Kingdom (1841-1910)

    Search the collection

    Queen Alexandra, consort of King Edward VII, King of the United Kingdom (1844-1925)

    Subject(s)

    Search the collection

    Etienne Falconet (1716-91)

    Search the collection

    Peter I, Tsar of Russia, 6th son of Alexei, Tsar of Russia (1672-1725)

  • Medium & Techniques

    Gold, enamel, sepia enamel

    yellow gold, white enamel, green enamel, red enamel, sepia ink

    engraved (incised), enamelled, painted

    Dimensions

    2.6 x 6.8 cm (whole object)

  • Alternative titles

    Circular box with miniatures of Peter the Great's Monument and the Sts Peter and Paul Fortress