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The Story of the Fabergé Heritage Polar Bear Surprise Locket

Jewellery & Watch News

Just in time for the winter season, Fabergé have revealed a breathtaking new Fabergé Heritage Rose Gold Dark Blue Guilloche Enamel Polar Bear Surprise Locket inspired by a historic Fabergé creation produced back in 1909. It’s combination of royal blue enamel, warm 18 carat rose gold and dazzling brilliant cut white diamonds makes this new piece the perfect adornment to every lady’s winter wardrobe.

Since their founding in 1842, Fabergé have become renowned for their miniature works of art often seamlessly integrated with precious metals and gemstones. In their earlier days, they were synonymous for designing luxurious presents for elites and royals all over the world. Famously, Tsar Alexander III was the first to commission the House of Fabergé to create an Easter Egg as a gift for his wife in 1885 but many others since have appointed the brand to create quirky charms, ornaments and pendants inspired by their favourite animals.

The new Fabergé Heritage Rose Gold Dark Blue Guilloche Enamel Polar Bear Surprise Locket takes its inspiration from a design just like this, one which was handcrafted back in 1909 for one of America’s most revered families, the Vanderbilts. The five-inch-long polar bear made entirely of white onyx appeared in Christie’s London Important Russian Art Sale on 27th November 2019, still in its original wood case and stamped with inscription ‘B.G. Scotland. 1909.’ The rare inscription intrigued those at Christie’s who decided to investigate further into the origins of this remarkable and rare piece.

They knew that the white onyx polar bear had once belonged to a French noble family known as the de Ganays and that the initials engraved on the case most likely stood for Marquise Berthe de Ganay. However, the reference of Scotland and the year of 1909 still posed a mystery. After further investigation, a London Fabergé boutique ledger revealed that on 10th September 1909, a polar bear of similar description was purchased by Virginia Fair Vanderbilt, wife of William Kissam Vanderbilt II. Records also state that Mrs Vanderbilt was joined by Martine-Marie-Pol, Countess of Béarn, the sister of Berthe de Ganay. This has led researchers to believe that Virginia Vanderbilt sought the advice of the Countess for an appropriate gift for her sister.

While this new information explained the significance of the date on the box, the importance of Scotland still remained an enigma, as did the relationship between Virginia Fair Vanderbilt and Berthe de Ganay. That was, however, until a 1909 article from The American Register revealed that Virginia Fair Vanderbilt and the Marquise Berthe de Ganay visited Beaufort Castle, Scotland, together along with their husbands in August of that year. The conclusion was made then, that the rare white onyx Fabergé polar bear was gifted to Berthe de Ganay by Mrs Vanderbilt as a keepsake of their joint holiday.

The story behind the new Fabergé Heritage Rose Gold Dark Blue Guilloche Enamel Polar Bear Surprise Locket makes its significance all the more magical, with its own adorable addition of a white gold polar bear hidden within a surprise locket. When closed, the egg pendant becomes a classic dress piece handcrafted from 18 carat rose gold decorated with dark blue guilloche and 15 brilliant cut white diamonds. And yet, when you open it up, the enchanting surprise of the white polar bear opens up a whole new world of wearing. The bear is encased in white enamel and adorned with exquisite black diamond eyes and a glistening agate base. 

Whether it’s a special treat for yourself, a last minute Christmas gift or a New Year surprise for a loved one, you can order the Fabergé Heritage Rose Gold Dark Blue Guilloche Enamel Polar Bear Surprise Locket on the C W Sellors website today available with interest free finance and free delivery. Get in touch with the team for any assistance on 01335 453453 or send us a message at sales@cwsellors.com.

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