A ROCK CRYSTAL DESK SEAL WITH JEWELLED GOLD MOUNTS, FABERGE
Workmaster E. Kollin
St. Petersburg, circa 1890, INVENTORY NUMBER EITHER: 60188 OR 88109, the tubular hardstone column encircled by a realistically chased serpent with cabochon sapphire-set head, small chip. On 7 December 1892 the Empress Maria Feodorovna purchased for 275 roubles a similarly formed desk seal by Kollin which she gave to her father, Christian IX, King of Denmark (sold Christie's New York, 16 April 1999, lot 108). In the British Royal Collection there is a variant of the type in which the serpent has been replaced by a jewelled bow (see Caroline de Guitaut, Faberge in the Royal Collection, London, 2003, no. 255. Both royal pieces are slightly shorter than the present example, respectively 7.5 and 6.7cm.