Russian Silver Bell-Push

Fabergé
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reference number: FB_004

circa 1900

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

assay mark of St.Petersburg, 1899-1908
silver standard: 84 zolotniks

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 catalog, lot 168.

 

Julius Alexandrovitch Rappoport (1864-1916) – Russian silversmith of Jewish origin, one of the most famous Fabergé’s workmasters. Julius Rappoport opened his first own workshop in St.Petersburg in 1883, but then moved to Moscow to join Fabergé firm. His maker’s mark was IP and in Russian Cyrillic (ИР). Between 1886 and 1908, Rappoport was one of four “workmasters”, main leaders of Fabergé workshops. He was Fabergé’s most important supplier of large silver objects. He is best known for his naturalistic animal figures, but he also executed special commissions for the Russian Imperial Family, the Imperial Cabinet and noble families.

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