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Fabergé-Wigström-bell push inv 21408-L233-BRDk-27 Nov 2013-01.jpg

Photograph courtesy of Rasmussen's.

An Imperial Fabergé Bowenite push-bell 

10 October 2023

This magnificent Fabergé bell push came up at auction at Rasmussen’s on 27 November 2013, Sale 845, Lot 233. 
It is fabricated in bowenite, adorned with 56 zolotnik gold chased laurel leaf fronds and a foil-backed moonstone pushpiece, surrounded by a split seed pearl border. It has maker’s marks for Chief Workmaster Henrik Wigström, St. Petersburg Assay mark for 1908-1917, scratched Inventory N° 21408. Height 1¾ inches (3.5 cm), diameter 2⅛ inches (5.6 cm). 

The Imperial Provenance of the piece is also rather interesting, as provided by the Auction House.

"Present from Tsaritsa Maria Feodorovna of Russia (1847-1928), née Princess of Denmark, to her nephew,

King Christian X of Denmark (1870-1947);

then his son Heredity Prince Knud of Denmark (1900-1976);
then his daughter Her Highness Princess Elisabeth to Denmark (b. 1935).

Bowenite bell push 01.jpg

These design drawings are shown below... Unusually, there are two design illustrations, one vertical side view and the other a top view. It matches the gold laurel sprigs precisely. It has a Workshop Production N° 11478, dated 16th June 1911.

Fabergé bowenite bell push-design-03.jpg

Three variations of the design were subsequently produced in enamel dated 05 January 1912, 10 February 1912 and 05 June 1912. After that, “two pieces”, variations of this design, were ordered on 18 October 1912.

I have created a diagram for easier understanding of the 6 bell pushes that the design drawing refers to.

Bowenite bell push 03.jpg

The three bell pushes illustrated below are all by Henrik Wigström, being fabricated in guilloché enamel, they have a similar design, shape and composition to the Bowenite original. We have no way of knowing for sure if these are in fact the three items that refer to the 1912 production numbers. They might possibly be contenders... 

Bowenite bell push 05.jpg
Bowenite bell push 06.jpg
Bowenite bell push 04.jpg

If any fellow collectors own a bell push of this design, especially if it has a seed pearl set bezel around the thumb piece,

I would be very grateful to see images and catalogue records of it.

And if any readers have seen similar items go through the auction houses, I would be delighted to look at them.

Feel free to drop me a line on the contact page!

- o0o -

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