The 1885 locket depicts the headwear of the Imperial Guards’ Horse Regiment in the Russian Empire.
The designer, Erik August Kollin, was reportedly famous for working exclusively for Fabergé in the 19th Century. Kollin, who was born in Finland in 1836, worked as a leading jeweller at Fabergé for 14 years. He was made head workmaster in 1872 by Carl Fabergé, Gustav Fabergé’s son.
He was in charge of Fabergé’s workshops until his role was replaced in 1886. During his tenure, he designed lots of “alluring jewellery”, including the locket.
The locket, which contains the Imperial Russian eagle crest, is gold and silver, and features a 56 Zolotnik mark (14 karats). The body of the double-headed eagle showcases St. George slaying a dragon.
The locket is 3.7cms in length and 15.1grams in weight, and opens and offers two frame compartments.
Ben Randall, jewellery specialist at Fellows Auctioneers, said: “It is a delight to be able to offer something with such emotive narrative, the fall of a dynasty, the history of a people and unimaginable luxury, encapsulated in such a small piece. Pre-Revolutionary pieces by manufacturers such as Fabergé are increasingly uncommon on the open market.
“The sustained demand for such items is made obvious by their quality of manufacture and novelty of design. We hope that the next owner is as thrilled as we were to add this treasure to their collection.”