Bell Push

Bell Push

c. 1895-1915

maker

House of Fabergé

(Russian, 1842-1918)

Silver gilt, enamel, bowenite, cabochon sapphire

Diameter: 3.5 x 5.8 cm (1 3/8 x 2 5/16 in.)

The India Early Minshall Collection 1966.472

Location

Fun Fact

The advent of electricity in the 1880s made systems of buttons and bell pushes to call servants more efficient than the old lever and pully system within the wall that often broke with a vigorous tug.

Description

This bell push sat on a dressing table in a wealthy household to summon a servant during the Gilded Age around 1900. Life "below stairs" wasn't as easy as movies and television have portrayed it. Servants could be summoned at all hours of the day and night, interrupting their work, and causing disruption at the whim of the wealthy owners or their guests. The House of Fabergé became the most celebrated Russian supplier of such luxury goods as servant bell pushes. As court jeweler to the Russian imperial family, the Fabergé firm created jewels and luxurious accessories both for the tsar and the Russian state as well as other European royalty and aristocrats.

See also

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