World War I Era Fabergé

… color:#db0a5b !important;

}

At the time of the Great War, the sons of Russian nobility wrote to their mothers that they had food at the front, but had nothing to cook it in. In response, their mothers commissioned cookware by Fabergé, not knowing of any other sources.

For the centennial of World War I, we present one such object: a copper and brass soup pot lined in pewter, with the imperial warrant and “K. Fabergé/war/1914” stamped in Cyrillic on its …

Tags: Faberge Russian Russian History

Nicholas & Alexandra, a Romanov Romance

0
1901 photograph of Nicholas and Alexandra of Russia

Photograph from the Illustrierte Zeitung, 1901, via Wikimedia Commons

“I never saw two people more in love with each other or happier than they are,”

wrote George, the Duke of York, to Mary in England regarding the wedding of the Russian Tsarevich Nicholas II and Princess Alix of Hesse-Darmstadt.

Some of the greatest love stories exist in history books, and the romance of Nicholas and Alexandra is quite the page turner, set against the tumultuous backdrop of the Russian Revolution.

They first met at the ages of 12 and 16, when Alix’s sister, Ella, married Grand Duke Serge, the younger brother of Tsar Alexander III. The two could not help but exchange glances.They did not see each other again until five years later, when Alix spent six weeks in St. Petersburg and they began spending more time together.

The romance, at first, was not without conflict, as the shy and awkward Princess did not make the best impression on Russian society. Nicholas’s parents, Alexander III and Empress Marie, expressed anti-German sentiments, instead having their sights set on the daughter of the Comte de Paris, Princess Hélène. But Nicholas only had eyes for Alix.

Princess Alix, torn about giving up her Lutheran faith to become Russian Orthodox, tearfully turned down Nicholas’s first proposal. Her hesitancy to abandon her faith did not last long, however, as she conceded the next day, at the convincing of her father, her grandmother, Queen Victoria, and, ultimately, her own heart.

Among the most touching aspects of their story, is their correspondence. Not long after their betrothal, Alix discovered Nicholas was keeping a diary and began writing her own entries. These included prayers, poetry, and other notes, including,

“I am yours, you are mine, of that be sure. You are locked in my heart, the little key is lost and now you must stay there forever.”

After their wedding she wrote,

“Never did I believe there could be such utter happiness in this world, such a feeling of unity between two mortal beings. I love you, these three words have my life in them.”

Such a happy and affectionate marriage lasted the rest of their lives. While they met a tragic end, in the words of Alexandra, they would

“meet again in the other world and remain together for eternity.”

(Quotations from Robert K. Massie’s Nicholas and Alexandra).

For all our ALVR Blog posts, please click here.

Kvasniki

0
Kvasniki

Kvas, a mildly alcoholic drink made from bread, has a long history of being a drink of the common people. The recipe involved soaking leftover dark bread in hot water and left to ferment for a few hours, adding honey, fruit, or sugar for sweetener as desired. Kvas was cheap to make and the yeast provided nutritional benefits to an otherwise limited diet, so becoming a staple for the Russian peasantry.

In the 19th century it became more popular than in earlier times, even enjoyed by the nobility on occassion. The degree of ornament applied to these kvasniki, pitchers for kvas, hints at the newly elevated status of the beverage. Of the askos form, modeled after ancient Greek goat-skin containers, they recall a renewed interest in classical art. In the second half of the nineteenth-century, applied decorations like flowers or bright red coral, as seen here, became fashionable. These decorative yet functional vessels attest to how a simple beverage transcended class boundaries, to the extent that the Russians, in the words of Pushkin, “like fresh air they loves kvass”.

Antique Russian Carved Coconut Tankard with Imperial Portraits

0

Finely and elaborately carved coconut mounted as a tankard with silver gilt mounts and gilded interior. Features the profiles of Peter the Great, Catherine the Great, and Elizabeth

Russian, 19th Century
Height: 6-1/4 inches

$18,000

Antique Russian Carved Coconut Tankard with Imperial Portraits, side bAntique Russian Carved Coconut Tankard with Imperial Portraits, side cAntique Russian Carved Coconut Tankard with Imperial Portraits, side d

Russian Antique 11th Artel Enamel Kovsh

0

Gilded silver and shaded and cloisonné enamel kovsh with geometric and floral motifs on a blue ground. A kovsh is a traditional Russian drinking cup, originally carved out of wood in the form of a duck. In this decorative kovsh, the bird-like form is clearly evident.

By the 11th Artel, Moscow, ca. 1910
Length: 4-1/8 inches; height: 2 inches

$18,500

Russian Antique 11th Artel Enamel Kovsh

Russian Antique Decorative Arts and Jewelry

0

The most noted Russian jeweler from the late 19th century to 1917, the year of the Revolution, was Carl Fabergé. He produced some of the world’s finest enamel work, featured on many different types of items, ranging from clocks to frames to jewelry.  Works of art included sculpture such as hardstone flower studies and miniature animals, and household items such as bellpushes, often made for the Tsar and other wealthy Russian families. Original Fabergé works of art have become some of the most coveted antique items on the market.  (More to come.)

Antique Russian Lacquer Papier-mâché Easter Egg

0

Red lacquered papier-mâché Easter egg with a depiction of the Resurrection on one side and a cathedral on the other. The interior inscribed in Cyrillic: From the St. Petersburg Old Believers Accepting the Priesthood.

By the Lukutin Factory, with their three Imperial eagle mark.
Russian, ca. 1890.
Height: 6-1/4 inches.

The Lukutin Factory was the most important creator of lacquerware in 19th century Russia, and held the Imperial warrant.  Fabergé is known to have embellished Lukutin works with gold, silver, and gemstones.

$8,500

This item is available for purchase in the ALVR shop. 

Russian Papier-mâché Easter Egg, cathedral viewside view, Russian Papier-mâché Easter EggRussian Papier-mâché Easter Egg, interior view with Cyrillic inscription

Antique Russian Malachite Box

0

Antique rectangular malachite table box, with gilt bronze mounts, and fabric-lined interior. Restorations to malachite.

Russian, ca. 1860.
Base: 8-1/8 in. x 6-1/8 in.
Top (at mount): 7-3/16 x 5-1/4 in.
Height: 3-11/16 in.

front view, Antique Russian Malachite Boxdetail view, Antique Russian Malachite Box

Antique Russian Bronze Icon

0

Bronze icon, including the Transfiguration, Crucifixion, Entry into Jerusalem, and the Nativity.

Russian, late 16th/early 17th century.
Height:2 7/8 in.
Width: 2 1/4 in.

$3,500

Antique Russian Gilded Bronze Candlesticks

0

Pair of gilded bronze Empire candlesticks.

Russian, ca. 1820.
Height: 14 3/4 in.

$15,500

detail view, Antique Russian Gilded Bronze Candlesticksdetail bottom view, Antique Russian Gilded Bronze Candlesticks

Antique Russian Traveling Triptych Icon

0

Silver traveling triptych icon with scroll decoration, with Saints Sophia, Vera, and Constantine, with presentation inscription on reverse.

By Morozov, St. Petersburg, ca. 1910.
Height: 4-1/4 in.
Width: 2-7/8 in., opening to 5-3/4 in.

$14,000

closed view, Antique Russian Traveling Triptych Iconview of inscription, Antique Russian Traveling Triptych Icon

Antique Russian Bronze Crucifix

0

Antique bronze crucifix.

Russian, late 18th/early 19th century
Length: 5 1/4 in.

$1,200

back view, Antique Russian Bronze Crucifix