Russian Silver Trompe l’oeil Tea Set


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reference number: RS_072

1881-1882

silver

height of the hot water kettle: 40 cm; weight: 2298 gr

maker’s mark: Cyrillic initials A.Ya.S. of A.Ya. Sokolov / hot water kettle: marks illegible

assay master’s mark: Cyrillic initials A.F. of unidentified master / hot water kettle: marks illegible

assay mark of St.Petersburg, 1881 & 1882 / kettle: Moscow,
1908-1917

silver standard: 84 zolotnik

Silver trompe l’oeil tea set comprising teapot, hot water pot, creamer, covered sugar-bowl, tongs, cake basket, and tea strainer, all contained in the original fitted case, each piece engraved with intertwined Latin initials K.S. Further, the set was augmented with twelve tea spoons and a hot water kettle resting on a stand with a burner, all of identical design.

 

The use of trompe l’oeil surfaces in ceramics and silverware was common in the late nineteenth century, as silversmiths adopted the Russian style, returning to traditional motifs of peasant craftsmanship. There are many similar tea and coffee services from the same period in museum collections in Russian and abroad, including examples in the British Royal collection and the Hillwood  Museum.

 

Russian silver-gilt tea set, 1880, British Royal collection

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