Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Pets of the Belle Époque: Queen Alexandra’s Pekingese, 1907

Queen Alexandra's Pekingese
Alfred Pocock for Fabergé
Fluorspar and Rose Diamonds
The Royal Collection
Long after her husband had received his elephants and was off in pursuit of more feminine creatures (or so it is rumored), Queen Alexandra spent her time doing fittingly queenly things and enjoying the company of her dogs. A favorite of hers was a dear Pekingese.

In 1907, she shopped around for a sculptor to create a figure of this Peke from precious materials. The friendly people at Cartier did some sketches of a stone Pekingese with cabochon sapphire eyes. Ultimately however, Alexandra decided to go with the work of Alfred Pocock who had newly joined Fabergé. The end result is this lovely fluorspar sculpture with rose-cut diamond eyes. This stone animal joined the Queen’s zoo of other Fabergé beasties and seemed to please her immensely.

Of course, this collection was continued later by the next Queen—Mary of Teck—who added quite a few more animals to the precious menagerie.

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