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The first definitive guide to the Royal Collection of Fabergé

Henrik Emanuel Wigström (1862-1923)

Crow c. 1907

Kalgan jasper, obsidian, acquamarine, silver-gilt | 7.8 x 15.7 x 5.7 cm (whole object) | RCIN 13756

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This magnificent carving is on a much larger scale than all the other animals that formed part of the Sandringham commission, and although it was not purchased until 1914 (by Queen Alexandra) the extrordinarily well-observed portrait suggests that it was almost certainly modelled from life. The body of the bird in made from a combination of kalgan jasper and obsidian and is an example of what Birbaum described as 'mosaic sculpture' - when two or more stones are combined to give the most realistic effect possible, rather than relying purely on the striations naturally occurring within a single piece. The scale and quality of the piece is reflected in the high purchase price of £75. Text adapted from Fabergé's Animals: A Royal Farm in Miniature