Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Gifts of Grandeur: A Perched Raven by Fabergé, 1900

Raven on Perch
Carl Fabergé, 1900
Onyx, Agate, Diamonds, Gold
The Royal Collection
The Royal Collection boasts seven Fabergé figures of birds on perches. This raven created in 1900 of onyx, agate, rose-cut diamonds and gold has special significance.

It refers to the ravens which have been traditionally kept at the Tower of London. The first recorded reference to the Tower ravens occurred in 1883 in “The Pictorial World.” At any given point, there are six ravens in residence at the tower. It is said that should they leave, the empire will fall. This is prevented by keeping their wings clipped. The ravens are happy enough, however, being cared for by the Yeoman Warders.

This figure was a favorite of Edward VII and Queen Alexandra during their reign. With its sparkling diamond eyes, it seems quite wise indeed. Perhaps it knows that the future of the empire rests on its feathery shoulders. 

Crown Copyright
The Royal Collection
via The Royal Collection Trust
Images Courtesy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

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