These rare Faberge cufflinks were made in Moscow between 1887 and 1897 by Knut Oscar Pihl (1860-1897), the head of Faberge’s Moscow workshop at 4 Bolshoi Kiselny St.
The gold cufflinks are set with banded agate cabochons framed by rose cut diamonds. The diamonds are set in silver over gold.
Diameter is 12 mm (1/2 in.)
Marked with 56 zolotnik old Russian gold standard (pre-1899 mark), initials ‘OP’ for Oscar Pihl, and Moscow city mark.
Oscar Pihl was the only Faberge’s workmaster in Moscow who was allowed to stamp objects with his own initials. After his death in 1897, all jewelry produced by Faberge in Moscow was stamped with Cyrillic initials of Carl Faberge (КФ).
Banded agate jewelry was fashionable in the late 19th century. Banded agate and diamond shirt studs which are very similar in design to these cufflinks are illustrated in the personal album of jewelry of Tsar Nicholas II. They are listed as no. 115 in the album. The inscription in Russian reads “From u. Sergei and Ella the 6th of December” (1894). Uncle Sergei and Ella are Grand Duke Sergei Alexandrovich (Governor-General of Moscow at the time) and his wife Grand Duchess Elizabeth (sister of Empress Alexandra Feodorovna).