A MINIATURE MODEL OF FALCONET'S MONUMENTTO PETER THE GREAT
Circa1903, the cast gold equestrian group raised on a sapphire base, later fitted Wartski case. Falconet's monumental sculpture of Peter the Great, unveiled in 1782, was commissioned by Catherine the Great and remains to this day on the banks of the Neva. It provided Faberge with the subject for the 'surprise' of the Easter egg given by Emperor Nicholas II to his consort Empress Alexandra Feodorovna in 1903, the year of the bicentenary of St Petersburg (Virginia Museum of Fine Art, Lillian Thomas Pratt Collection, 47.20.33). That equestrian group, purportedly modelled by Georgii Malyshev, and its base measure 1 9/16 in, almost identical in size to the present example. Another miniature model of the monument, like the Imperial example incorporating the surrounding fence together with the dedication inscription, formerly in the collection of Elizabeth Balletta, was exhibited, Fabergb in America, New York, 1996, no. 193. Although unmarked it is not unreasonable attribute the present lot to Faberge.