DescriptionRare and Unusual Fabergé Oxidized Gold Crucifix of the Protopresbyter (Confessor) of Tsar Alexander III and Maria Fedorovna
Workmaster Erik Kollin, St. Petersburg, circa 1885, stamped 56 for 14k, and Fabergé in Cyrillic
Set with five garnet clusters of three pear-shaped bezel-set garnets and twenty-seven old mine-cut diamonds, the cross applied with the gold figure of Christ above INRI-6 in. long
The Protopresbyter was the highest-ranking white (married) cleric in Russia. At the end of the 19th century there were four priests who held this rank, including the head of the court clergy, who served as the personal confessor of the Russian Imperial family. White clergy wore the crucifix as opposed to the panagia (icon pendant) worn by the black (monastic) clergy.
Fabergé workmaster Erik Kollin
Born in Finland, Erik August Kollin (1836-1901) moved to St. Petersburg in 1858 where he registered as a goldsmith and worked with Fabergé workmaster August Holmström. Ten years later, Kollin became a master goldsmith and in 1870 opened his own workshop in the Imperial capital at 9 Kazanskaya, where he worked exclusively for Fabergé. He became headworkmaster of the Fabergé workshop and held that post until 1886. He is known for a series of Scythian jewelry recreations for which he received a Gold Medal at the Exhibition of Applied Arts in Nuremberg in 1885.
For another gold pectoral cross by Erik Kollin in the Bayerisches Nationalmuseum, see Geza von Habsburg, Fabergé, Munich, 1986, page 146, plate 134.
Purchased from A la Vieille Russie
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