A FRENCH GOLD, HARDSTONE AND GEM-SET MODEL OF A HATCHING CHICK, PURCHASED BY GRAND DUKE ALEXEI ALEXANDROVITCH, MAISON CARTIER, PARIS, 1907 |
- the base engraved with inventory number 506
- Amethyst, quartz, agathe, gold, diamonds
- height 2 7/8 in.
- 7.2 cm
506 (25.4.1907) 1 poussin (gros) sortant de l'oeuf brisé
The piece was sold to Grand Duke Alexei Alexandrovich (1850-1908), fourth son of Czar Alexander II and his wife Maria Alexandrovna (Marie of Hesse). His naval career was a mixed success, and a wag described his life as "fast women and slow ships." He maintained an extravagant lifestyle in his palace on the Moika in St. Petersburg and an apartment in Paris on the Avenue Gabriel. On his sudden death in 1908, his collections passed to his brothers Grand Dukes Vladimir and Paul.
The purple chick is probably meant to represent a blue orphington, a color that had only been achieved by breeder William Cook in 1905. Another Cartier "poussin améthyste sortant de sa coquille en agate blanche" was purchased by Queen Alexandra in December of 1907, a few months after the Grand Duke.
In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective qualified opinion.
NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING CONDITION OF A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE PRINTED IN THE CATALOGUE.