As part of the Spring/Summer auction season, Sotheby's is pleased to present its sale of Russian works of art, Fabergé and icons on Wednesday 8th of June at New Bond Street galleries.
Offering 280 lots, one of its highlights is a bust marble portrait of the Empress Maria Feodorovna by Prosper d'Épinay which was produced at the height of his popularity in the 1880s. The artist observed in a letter from 1887: 'I was commissioned by the emperor [Alexander III] to make a bust of the empress. He would like it to act as pendant to the one of his mother'. Two versions are known to exist, and while a plaster version is preserved in the family of the artist, the whereabouts of the marble one were unknown until now.
The ultimate symbol of feminine elegance at the turn of the 20th century was the fan, only a small number of which were produced in Fabergé's workshops, making them rare on the market today. This auction offers three Fabergé fans - including the gold and pink enamel example and a jewelled gold fan which formerly belonged to Queen Alexandrine of Denmark - while in total, seven Russian fans are included, part of an extensive group from an English collector.