Saturday, June 14, 2014

Mastery of Design: Queen Mary’s Seal, 1896

Michael Perchin for Fabergé
The Royal Collection

This attractive seal by Michael Perchin of Fabergé was a gift to Queen Mary on the occasion of her birthday, May 26, 1935 and also for her Silver Jubilee on the throne from Prince and Princess Nicholas of Greece. The Prince and Princess were the parents of Princess Marina who would marry the fourth son of King George V and Queen Mary and become the Duchess of Kent.

The seal’s unusual handle is formed of rutilated quartz-- rock crystal containing rutile, a mineral which occurs in columnar-shaped crystals. Queen Mary happily added this handsome item to her collection of Fabergé—a large grouping of objects which she kept in a series of vitrines.

Queen Mary adored her Fabergé collection. After the death of her husband, King George V, her Fabergé collection was one of the first things that she moved with her from Buckingham Palace to her new home at Marlborough house. When the danger of the Second World War forced the Queen Dowager to move from Marlborough House to Badminton House in the country she brought the collection with her, and when the war was over and the Queen set about rebuilding Marlborough House which had been badly bombed, she declared that the ruined house was looking “like home” again when her collection of Fabergé was in place. 

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

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