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A LARGE GEM-SET SILVER-MOUNTED NEPHRITE ASHTRAY
A LARGE GEM-SET SILVER-MOUNTED NEPHRITE ASHTRAY
A LARGE GEM-SET SILVER-MOUNTED NEPHRITE ASHTRAY
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A LARGE GEM-SET SILVER-MOUNTED NEPHRITE ASHTRAY
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PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE FRENCH COLLECTION
A LARGE GEM-SET SILVER-MOUNTED NEPHRITE ASHTRAY

MARKED FABERGÉ, WITH THE WORKMASTER'S MARK OF KARL ARMFELT, ST PETERSBURG, 1908-1917, SCRATCHED INVENTORY NUMBER 23079

Details
A LARGE GEM-SET SILVER-MOUNTED NEPHRITE ASHTRAY MARKED FABERGÉ, WITH THE WORKMASTER'S MARK OF KARL ARMFELT, ST PETERSBURG, 1908-1917, SCRATCHED INVENTORY NUMBER 23079 Triangular with rounded and furled corners, the nephrite dish entwined with silver mounts cast and chased as a snake, its head set with cabochon garnet eyes, marked on mounts, also with London import marks for 1914; in a fitted Wartski case 7 1/8 in. (18 cm.) long
Provenance
Purchased by Prince Alexander of Battenberg (1886-1960) from Fabergé's London branch on 11 February 1915 for £65.
Acquired by the previous owner from Wartski, London, in 1980.
Thence by descent to the present owner.
Literature
K. Snowman, Carl Fabergé, Goldsmith to the Imperial Court of Russia, London, 1980, p. 60 (illustrated).

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Sarah Mansfield
Sarah Mansfield Russian Pictures

Lot Essay

This large and impressive nephrite ashtray decorated with a silver snake was acquired by Prince Alexander of Battenberg (1886-1960), a grandson of Queen Victoria. Born at Windsor Castle, Alexander was the eldest of the four children of Princess Beatrice and Prince Henry of Battenberg.

Prince Alexander attended Wellington College in Crowthorne. Following the graduation, he served in the Royal Navy between 1902 and 1908. In 1911, Prince Alexander joined the British Army and was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Grenadier Guards. He was promoted to lieutenant in 1913 and in 1915, the year he acquired the present ashtray, he was promoted to captain.

When World War I started in August of 1914, Prince Alexander’s regiment was under deployment orders. In 1917, he was awarded the Russian Order of St Vladimir Fourth Class with Swords, for distinguished service to the Allied cause.

For a comparable nephrite dish with a snake from the collection of Their Royal Highnesses the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, see Exhibition catalogue, Wartski, Japonisme: from Falize to Fabergé, London, 2011, p. 69, no. 130.

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