Russian Silver Gem-Set Bell-Push

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reference number: FB_004


silver, cabochon cut garnet

height: 12 cm; weight: 480 gr

maker’s mark: Imperial Warrant mark of Fabergé (Fabergé in Cyrillic)

workmaster’s mark: Cyrillic initials I.R. of Julius Rappoport

assay master’s mark: Cyrillic initials Ya.L. of Yakov Lyapunov

silver standard: 84 zolotniks

A bell-push by Fabergé, whimsically sculpted and realistically hand chased in silver. The razorback pig represented as seated on hind legs, finely detailed body simulating fur, curled tail above bell pull string; the head is pointed upwards, with the eyes half-shut he appears to be smiling. A cabochon-set red garnet button is mounted on boar’s nose.


A similar pig bell-push also made in Rappoport’s workshop is illustrated in Sotheby’s New York, 6 December 1995, lot 398. For another smaller one see Sotheby’s Geneva November 15, 1988 catalogue, lot 168.


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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