An Extremely Rare Antique Russian Archaeological Revival Jeweled Gold Bangle Bracelet by Peter Carl Faberge
St Petersburg, circa 1885
56 zolotniks Imperial gold standard (14K – 583)
The central 8 mm natural pearl is surrounded by 9 antique cushion cut diamonds (approximately 3.50 ct total weight) forming a cluster.
The gold bracelet has a matte finish and ancient Greek-style delicate applied wirework with granulation. The wirework is similar to Western European Victorian era Etruscan revival gold work.
In Russia, Carl Faberge used ancient Greek prototypes from the collection of the Imperial Hermitage that were excavated in the Crimea and the Black Sea area.
The gold bracelet has a matte finish and ancient Greek-style delicate applied wirework with granulation. Inner diameter 2 1/2 in. (6,4 cm)
The following is an abbreviated translation of an article from the Russian magazine ” NIVA” published in 1882:
The art of jewelry, which is so closely related to fine art, in our days, has almost completely vanished. It is well known how poor and trite, the shapes of modern jewelry are. The artistic side is overtaken by “richness” of gems. If these beautiful gems are removed from their modern settings, what would be left? …. There is a man among jewelers, who is hoping to return a former glory to the art of jewelry. We are talking about the renowned St. Petersburg jeweler Faberge. In his effort to improve artistic style of jewelry, Mr. Faberge turned towards the classical source of beauty and art, ancient Greece. Being a jeweler of the Imperial Hermitage, he has an excellent opportunity. He was granted permission to copy the best examples of ancient Greek jewelry… The Hermitage has one of the finest collections of ancient Greek Art in Europe, particularly, artifacts found during excavations of Greek colonies in the Crimea… Mr. Faberge was able to reproduce the ancient technique. At the present time, his display at the Moscow exhibition has a significant number of finely made pieces (in the Greek style) like bracelets, earrings, and rings… As we see it, Mr. Faberge is opening a new epoque in jewelry. We wish him success in his quest for the glorious component (artistic form) missing in the art of jewelry. We hope that thanks to our famous jeweler, the value of objects will not be exclusively in the value of their gems but in artistic taste as well.
Faberge, whose workshop exists since 1842, was able to train several workmasters within the last 12 years, who under his leadership, were able to produce a whole collection of jewelry in the Greek style for the Moscow exhibition, which raised public attention and was praised by Their Majesties. Her Majesty made Faberge happy by buying a pair of Greek-style cufflinks.
A comparable pearl and diamond cluster bracelet was published in 1893 price list of Faberge’s Moscow branch.
It is priced at 900 rubles, a very large amount of money at that time.
The size of the cluster and the number of diamonds, are very similar to the pearl and diamond cluster of the ancient Greek-style bracelet offered here.