Russian Silver Bell-Push

Fabergé
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reference number: FB_079

circa 1890

silver

height: 9.5 cm

maker’s mark: Fabergé stamped in full

workmaster’s mark: Latin initials J.R. of Julius Rappaport

assay mark of St.Petersburg

silver standard: 88 zolotniks

Humorously created this pudgy model of an elephant portrayed seated as if a human being while looking forward; the elephant is shown in an upright position with the tip of his trunk pointed upwards, hind legs outstretched, front legs resting on the protruding belly. Despite apparent behavioural anomalies the elephant is cast and meticulously finished by hand to show animal hide, large floppy ears, tusks. The hallmark of Faberge along with perfunctory others appear on elephant’s curved tale underside.

 

Julius Alexandrovitch Rappoport (1851-1917), one of Fabergé’s rare craftsmen of Jewish origin, was apprenticed in Berlin, opened a workshop in St.Petersburg 1883-4 and was under exclusive contract. He is best known for his naturalistic animal figures but also executed special commissions for the Imperial family and the Imperial Cabinet. His workshop was taken over by the First Silver Artel around 1909.

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