A pair of Imperial Russian silver tea glass holders of openwork form with fluted D-shaped handles flanked by wirework scrolls, on four openwork feet, the front with Cyrillic cipher VA for Grand Duke Vladimir Alexandrovich (1847-1909) below an applied crown and ribbons, the spoons with bifurcated openwork stems capped by crown finials.
Grand Duke Vladimir Alexandrovich (1847-1909) was the fourth child and third son of Tsar Alexander II and a younger brother of Tsar Alexander III. Vladimir Alexandrovich had a successful career in the army, occupied several important military positions during the reigns of three Russian emperors. He was also a member of the State Council, president of the Imperial Academy of Arts and honorary member of the Imperial Academy of Sciences. Vladimir Alexandrovich was married to Maria Pavlovna, née Duchess of Mecklenburg-Schwerin, celebrated for her exquisite collection of jewellery.
The firm of Grachev was founded in St.Petersburg in 1866 by silversmith Gavriil Petrovich Grachev. Upon his death in 1873, the business passed on to his numerous sons and became known as the Grachev Brothers. The firm participated in various Russian and international fairs, including a Copenhagen exhibition in 1888 and the Columbian Exposition in Chicago five year later and received prizes. In 1892, twenty nine year old Mikhail Gavrilovich Grachev was named valuer to the Russian Imperial Cabinet; that same year, the firm received the title of Imperial Court Supplier and were permitted to use the Imperial Warrant or double-headed eagle as part of its hallmark. The business closed in March 1918.