SHOWCASE 21. GOLD- AND SILVERWARE OF THE MID-19TH - EARLY 20TH CENTURY

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Showcase 21. Gold- and silverware of the mid 19th - early 20 century

In the second half of the 19th century, large jewellery-making associations were established in Moscow and Saint Petersburg to use new methods of precious metal art. The owners of the manufactures employed top specialists and leading craftsmen, invited painters and historians of art. Having produced precious items of high value, several firms gained their reputation in Russia as well as in Europe, i.e. the Moscow firms of Sazikov, Ovchinnikov, Khlebnikov, Semyonov and the St. Petersburg firms of Morozov, Grachev and Fabergé.

The showcase contains articles executed by jewellery firms and factories from the 1830s to the early 20th century and represents various techniques of metalworking and jewellery-making. There are specimens of famous niello work, the technique of cloisonne enamel revived by the Ovchinnikov firm, chasing, plique-a-jour (stained glass) enamel.

Since the 1830s, makers and specialists were searching for new inspiration and style. Mixing of compositional and decorative elements of all the preceding periods resulted in the neo-Gothic, the 'second rococo' and neo-Classicism. Also, there was a resurgence of interest in medieval Russian motifs as well as naturalistic elaborate forms. The exhibition of 1889 in Paris marked the development of a new style, known as Art Nouveau and distinguished in applied art for a predominance of flowing curves and plastic figures.

Cup and SaucerSweetmeat BowlEaster Egg