A silver and hardstone table cigarette lighter

the figure 10th Silver Artel, with Faberge name in full and Imperial warrant, Moscow; the base H. Armfeldt, St. Petersburg, 1908-1917

Add to collection

The lighter in the form of a realistically-cast and chased contemplative baboon with hinged head, the creature depicted seated and holding its upturned tail by the right hand, perched on a craggy two-coloured hardstone outcrop set on a tooled silver base with vesta compartment and spill tray, the front applied with plaque engraved with signatures

This droll model of a baboon was originally conceived sometime before 1896 in the workshop of the Faberge workmaster Julius Rappoport. For an example dating from this period, see exhibition catalogue, Faberge, Munich, 1986-7, no. 39; for another, created between 1896 and 1908, formerly in the collection of Mrs George Keppel, see Sotheby's London, 20 February 1985, lot 571.

The present example, executed by the 10th Silver Artel, has been rendered particular by placing the creature on the rocky outcrop above a silver 'pool'. This expansion of the original concept, evidently the result of a special commission, was done by the Faberge silversmith Hjalmar Armfeldt, who often used silver in conjunction with materials such as wood, stone and brick. The plaque engraved with signatures indicates that the work was conceived as a presentation piece.