Empress Maria Feodorovna, consort of Paul I, was an eager cultivator of the arts and excelled in all creative endeavours, from horticulture to music. She shared her mother-in-law Catherine the Great’s love of cameos and learned how to carve cameos herself, taking inspiration from examples in the Hermitage and replicating them under the supervision of her professor Carl Leberecht. The present lot is a cameo depicting Catherine the Great as a Minerva; this was one of Maria Feodorovna’s favourite subjects, and she often presented these cameos to her mother-in-law as gifts.
Overall good condition; with only minor surface wear and scratches consistent with age. A few small chips along the edges. "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. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS PRINTED IN THE SALE CATALOGUE."