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     Home > IMPERIAL RUSSIA > Imperial Russian Silver

    Silver Vodka Decanter & Cup Ensemble by Akimov workshop in Moscow, 1889.

    Silver Vodka Decanter & Cup Ensemble by Akimov workshop in Moscow, 1889.

    Silver gilt Vodka decanter, 8 5/8 inches tall (including the stopper), both marked "1889," "84", "AP" and "VA" (see photos); attractive shape shows no dents but the gilt has been slightly rubbed in a very few places at the widest points, probably caused more by handling over the past eleven or twelve decades than for any other reason. Initials "V.A." are the maker mark of the V. Akimov silver workshop which operated in Moscow form the last half of XIX C. through 1908. Several of Akimov's works are currently in the collection of the Moscow's State History Museum, including a silver teapot, a tankard and a teacup. /See "Russian Gold and Silverwork from the 15th to 20th Century", by Postnikova-Loseva et al, p. 210/.

    An 8 silver and gilt tray, hallmarked on the bottom: "1889", "84", "AP" and "VA" ornately engraved with circular designs to indicate where the decanter and the individual cups were to be placed; the gilding has faded due to normal wear (rather than excessive cleaning, which - had that occurred - would have certainly have ruined the delicate shading in the engraved areas, too...); very minor bumps around the edges - again, barely noticeable and not detracting.

    Five 1 15/16 inches tall silver and gilt vodka cups, each hallmarked on the bottom: "1889", "84", "AP" and "VA"; each cup partially gilded and engraved with an identical and very ornate pattern (typical of the late Victorian era in England, western Europe and urban areas of Russia - particularly Moscow and St. Petersburg); one or two cups have very minor bumps - not detracting.

    One 1 7/8 inch tall silver vodka cup, hallmarked on the bottom: "1888", "84", "AA" and an unrecognizable Cyrillic letter; engraved with an ornate pattern not incompatible with that on the other five cups. Considering the 1889 date of the decanter, tray and the five matching cups, the fact that this cup is reasonably compatible with the rest of the set and has a date that it is only one year different (1888), it is not hard to imagine that the missing cup was lost not long after the entire ensemble was purchased in a Moscow Jewelry store and that this replacement was obtained by the original owner in the late 1880's or very early 1890's...

    It should be noted that most of the hallmark groupings on each piece also include a small touchmark that shows the outline of a swan. This symbol was regularly used by the French government from 1893 until well into the twentieth century to mark anything made in other countries of silver that was brought into France. As a "historical footnote", then, the stamping helps us establish that this set spent part of its exodus (exile?) in France as it passed on its long way to its present location here in North America.

    A beautiful accessory for the dining room or study, a set that with care (similar to what it has experienced over the past 120 years) should continue to be an heirloom passed down from one generation to another...

    Item# 25298


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