Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Mastery of Design: Box with miniature of Peter the Great's Monument, 1913

Box of Gold, Enamel, Diamonds and a Miniature
Henrik Wigström forFabergé, 1913
Purchased by Queen Mary for King George V
Crown Copyright
The Royal Collection 
Image Courtesy of:
Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

Made for Fabergé  by the celebrated Henrik Wigström (1862-1923), this box of gold, guilloché enamel, rose and brilliant diamonds,  and a miniature en grisaille (in a limited, mostly gray, color palette) depicts Peter the Great's Monument.  It was made in 1913 for Prince Vladimir Galitzine; from whom purchased by Queen Mary,  September 10, 1934.  Mary presented the box to King George V on Christmas Day of 1934.

The scene shows Etienne Falconet’s monument in St Petersburg which was completed in 1782, glorifying Peter the Great’s absolutism. The miniature is designed to look like a cameo.  The painting was the work of  Vassily Zuiev, a miniaturist employed by Fabergé, and is dated 1913, the year of the Romanov tercentenary.

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