Faberge master craftsman work on auction display

Author: Richard Brewster | Posted: 24th May, 2019

An important Faberge clock by Finnish master craftsman Albert Holmstrom (1876-1925) is the focus of Christian McCann Auctions forthcoming sale from 12pm Sunday May 26 at 426 Burnley Street, Richmond.

When his father August died in 1903, Albert took over his business, maintaining the same quality and standard of artworks that had resulted in the senior Holmstrom being appointed headmaster of Faberge in 1857 at age 28.

Holstrom’s workshop was famous for its miniature copies of the Imperial regalia and in 1900 exhibited at the Exhibition Universelle in Paris – these days part of the Hermitage Museum collection.

It is considered one of the finest of the Faberge masters and is celebrated for its extraordinary technique and faultless precision.

IN 1892, the workshop created the Imperial Diamond Trellis Egg, a jewelled enamelled

Easter egg, for Alexander III of Russia.  The egg is now owned by American husband and wife

Artie and Dorothy McFerrin and is on display at the Houston Museum of Natural Science.

After his father’s death Albert continued to use the same mark AH, which thus lasted for two generations.

Under Albert’s direction, the workshop produced two of Faberge’s finest artworks – the Imperial Winter Egg in 1913 (now in a private collection) and the following the year the Imperial Mosaic Egg, today part of the British Royal Collection.  

In 1921, Albert moved back to Helsinki and opened a workshop with Vaino Hollming, but died four years later.

The Faberge clock, owned by a Russian collector now living in Melbourne and purchased in 2013 from a Moscow family, is the pick of an offering that includes 18th and 19th century French and English timepieces.

Among them are superb French 19th century marble and ormolu clocks and clock sets, and 18th century English lacquered longcase version and bracket clocks.

An important Arthur Streeton work leads the Australian and international art works for sale which, according to Christian McCann, is among the finest art collections he has ever auctioned.

These include paintings by Australian artists J.A. Turner, Darcy Doyle, Tim Storrier, Hugh Sawrey, John Tiplady, Sidney Nolan, Robert Dickerson, David Boyd, Albert Sherman and Ernest Buckmaster – and a rare pair of Eastern European oils by Polish painter Bronislaw Abramowicz (1837-1912).

The paintings, in carved gilt wooden frames, depict sleigh riders and a horse and carriage. Abramowicz studied in Warsaw, Munich, Vienna and Krakau and best known for his genre scenes and hunting portraits – particularly those of the last Bavarian king Ludwig III.

Another international work is by English painter Ernest Charles Walbourne (1872-1927), famed for his romanticised oil paintings of English rural and farm scenes.

Celebrated in his lifetime, his works can be found in many museums including the Bolton Museum and Art Gallery, the Herbert Art Gallery and Museum and the Kirklees Museum and Galleries.

The auction work depicts a young girl and boy with geese in an English landscape.

Nineteenth century French furniture is a another drawcard including high end ormolu mounted bureau-plats, rolltop desk, Sevres panelled credenza and carved giltwood pieces.

The auction also contains 19th century sculptures including an important exhibition carved marble figure depicting Cupid and Psyche, an ivory Albert Preiss work, Japanese bronze samurai and figure groups.

Nineteenth English and French porcelain is another attraction including Royal Worcester, Sevres, Meissen and Dresden.

The fine art auction will be followed at 4pm by a separate jewellery sale.


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