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Henrik Emanuel Wigström (1862-1923)

Frame with an enamelled view of Sandringham House  1908

Nephrite, gold, half pearls, sepia enamel, ivory | 9.0 x 15.2 x 7.1 cm | RCIN 40492

  • A number of boxes and frames with enamelled views of royal residences were purchased directly through the London branch by both King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra. They were either directly commissioned, or had their production carefully orchestrated to appeal to the King and Queen. This particular frame was purchased by King Edward in November/December 1908 at a cost of £67 and originally formed part of his daughter Princess Victoria’s collection. It shows the west front of the house from the garden. It is one of three frames in the Royal Collection enclosing views of the Sandringham estate. Mark of Henrik Wigström; gold mark of 56 zolotniks (1896-1908); Fabergé in Cyrillic characters Text adapted from Fabergé in the Royal Collection

    Provenance

    Bought by King Edward VII from Fabergé's London branch November/December 1908, (£67); Princess Victoria's collection. Lent by Princess Victoria to the Exhibition of Russian Art in Belgrave Square in 1935.
  • Creator(s)

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    Henrik Emanuel Wigström (1862-1923) (workmaster)

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    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.

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    Acquirer(s)

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

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    Princess Victoria of Wales, 2nd daughter of Edward VII, King of the United Kingdom (1868-1935)

  • Medium & Techniques

    Nephrite, gold, half pearls, sepia enamel, ivory

    pearl, red gold, sepia ink, enamel, nephrite, ivory

    Dimensions

    9.0 x 15.2 x 7.1 cm (whole object)