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A Fabergé Imperial Gem-Set Bowenite, Gold and Enamel Parasol Handle, Workmaster Michael Perchin, St. Petersburg, circa 1895. photo courtesy Sotheby's

the handle set with a carved, cushion-shaped piece of bowenite surmounted with a raised disk of lilac enamel over a wavy guilloché ground encircled by a band of rose diamonds, the collar with lilac enamel over a wavy guilloché ground with a series of bright-cut gold bands, with a gold band at the top and a rose diamond band at the bottom; height 2 3/4 in. (excluding screw). - Estimate 15,000—20,000 USD Lot Sold 80,500 USD

marked with Fabergé in Cyrillic, workmaster's initials, and 56 standard, also with scratched inventory number 57865

PROVENANCE: Emperor Nicholas II and Empress Alexandra Fedorovna
Christie's, Geneva, May 12, 1981, lot 75.

NOTE: Emperor Nicholas II and Empress Alexandra Fedorovna purchased this parasol handle jointly, splitting the cost between their two chancelleries, on October 28, 1897 for 185 rubles. Such joint purchases were generally intended for gifts to Dowager Empress Maria Fedorovna, or other members of the Imperial family, and we can speculate that the parasol handle was intended as a birthday gift for the Maria Fedorovna, who was born on 14 (26) November. Grateful to Svetlana Chestnykh for assistance in researching this lot.

Sotheby's. Important Russian Enamels and Fabergé from a New York Private Collection. 04 Nov 10 New York www.sothebys.com