A Fabergé hardstone figure of a griffon, circa 1907
- length: 6.3cm., 2½in
The companion to the present lot is in the British Royal Collection (RCIN 40046; see C. de Guitaut, Fabergé in the Royal Collection, 2003, no. 34, p. 64), slightly smaller and looking to its left. According to the Royal Collection, that figure was commissioned circa 1907 by King Edward VII and may have been among the dogs living at Sandringham, the estate's animals frequently serving as models for the hardstone carvings. As the griffon is such an unusual breed, it seems certain that the Royal griffon served as the prototype for the present lot, which possibly was itself commissioned by the King at the same time.
The griffon is a sturdy, cheerful breed of which there are three varieties; the present lot and the Royal Collection example are Petit Brabancon Griffons, characterised by their short, straight coat and human expression.