Bowenite, Gold, Enamel and Diamonds
The Victoria & Albert Museum
Parasols were designed to shield a lady’s delicate skin from the sun, certainly, but they also served a more social purpose, creating another means to draw attention to a lady and display her wealth, taste, fashion and standing in society.
This parasol, designed by Fabergé between 1896 and 1903, while certainly affording a utilitarian purpose, existed mostly as a means of showing off. The handle of bowenite is both practical and beautiful. The hard stone, in hot weather, would have cooled a lady’s hand while showing her sense of taste. The collar with its trelliswork borders and yellow enamel, resembles the Imperial Coronation Egg (now in the private Vekselberg Collection) and a Fabergé box with similar visual characteristics which can be seen in the Victoria and Albert Museum. Each triangular section of the pommel’s collar is set with a central diamond.
Fabergé’s Mikhail Evlampievich Perchin (1860-1903), created this parasol. It was commissioned, actually, to be used during Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee in 1897, however, records show that it was probably not finished in time and was not completed until 1903.