Sale: Sotheby’s London, 11 June 2008, lot 440
A silver Imperial presentation cup of urn shape standing on a concave triangular base upheld by three double-headed eagles with spread-out wings, each perched on a polished sphere. The cup is chased with tapering flutes at the base and wide band of laurel leaves, it is further set with an applied two-line Cyrillic inscription above and a band of alternating acanthus and anthemion floral design under the lip. The domed cover with tapering flutes surmounted by an Imperial Russian crown. Inscribed in Cyrillic: Imperial Prize / the Moscow Imperial Horse Racing Society
A similar Imperial presentation cup was shown in the Fabergé in America in the Metropolitan Museum in New York in 1996 (Fabergé in America 1996/7, cat. 302, col. ill. p. 279; Wilmington 2000/1, cat. 145, col. ill. p. 101).
The Moscow Imperial Horse Riding Society, one of the oldest in Russia, was established in 1834 on the initiative of the Moscow Governor-General His Highness Prince Dmitry Vladimirovich Golitsyn. The history of the Society is closely related to the Imperial family and high nobility. After Golitsyn, in different years it was headed by then Moscow’s mayor Prince Vladimir Dolgorukov and Grand Duke Dmitry Konstantinovich; the position of the treasurer of the society was for a long time held by the son of Fyodor Dostoyevsky Fyodor Fyodorovich.