The Royal Collection
Courtesy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II
When one collects Fabergé animals, it’s only natural, after amassing a few hundred, that one would start to commission unusual pieces to make the collection a little more exciting. So, why not a bell-push shaped like an elephant?
Here, made between 1896 and 1900 in nephrite, silver, and guilloché enamel, and rubies we see such a bell-push. Even though Fabergé was bes known for opulent decorative items, they did occasionally produce practical items, among which bell-pushes were some of the most functional and complicated. Such bell-pushes were designed to sit upon a desk.
Here, the push-piece is in the form of a silver elephant set with cabochon ruby eyes. The elephant is a reference to Queen Alexandra’s native Denmark, where the elephant is incorporated in the design of the senior Danish order of chivalry.
The elephant, here, stands on a tapered platform of salmon-pink guilloché enamel with a nephrite base. It bears the mark of Fabergé ‘s Karl Armfelt; with a silver mark of 88 zolotniks (1896-1908); and Fabergé in Cyrillic characters.