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Coloured Gold

Patch box, octagonal, quatrecouleur gold with floral garlands and rococo scrolls on side panels, lid set with oval of moss agate, framed by rose diamonds and foliate twist.
By including moss agate in mounted jewellery and boxes, Fabergé was continu

Patch box ©

Gold is a soft metal which is usually alloyed with other materials to give it strength. These alloys can be used to alter the colour of the gold. Gold with fewest alloys retains its distinctive yellow colour but when zinc or nickel are added the gold has a white tone, with copper it appears red and with silver it becomes green.

This technique was perfected by gold box-makers in eighteenth-century France who would often use three or four shades of gold to create a single object. The renowned jeweller and goldsmith Carl Fabergé was fascinated by the technique and revived it in the late nineteenth century as a decorative effect used on the exquisite luxury pieces produced in his workshops. Some of these objects, together with the type of works which inspired them, are included in this exhibtion.

Mikhail Evlampievich Perkhin (1860-1903)

Patch box

Erik August Kollin (1836-1901)

Cup

Attributed to Johann Christian Neuber (1736-1808)

Snuff box

Mikhail Evlampievich Perkhin (1860-1903)

Frame with miniature of Tsarina Marie Feodorovna