JAPANNED TOLE TRAY MOUNTED ON STAND
The crimson painted tray of oval two-handled form, the center with a transfer and overpainted scene depicting
the entrance of the Dolmabache Palace, Istanbul, surrounded by broad band of gilt arabesques,
mounted on a later
gilt heightened crimson stand.
excellent; several areas of inpainting in the sky; expected small scratches to
This tray is illustrated the Athens Greece Benaki Museum exhibition catalogue
from collectors in Greece and Turkey :
Rituals of Hospitality : Ornamented Trays of the 19th Century in Greece and Turkey
No research has previously been done on these works.
With thanks to Dr. Myrto Hatzaki and Flavia Nessi.
20" H x 26 1/2" L x 18 1/4" D
RUSSIAN NEOCLASSICAL FURNITURE
During the second half of the eighteenth century, Russia was to witness an unrivalled program of palace building,
particularly under the enlightened rule of Catherine the Great (1762-1796). On June 28, 1762, Catherine dethroned her husband,
Peter III, thus beginning a thirty-four year reign that would see her country become not only a modern state, but a power
equal to the most significant of her European neighbors. During her sovereignty, Russian territory expanded, the arts and sciences
flourished, and many of the great palaces were built. So significant were the advances made in this period, it would be
remembered as “the magnificent age.”
Closely linked to the construction of new palaces in Russia is the history of furniture manufacture. So many luxurious
new buildings required appropriate furnishings, but without a significant source in Russia itself, the majority in the early period
was imported from Europe. However, once the need was established, Russia would soon develop her own cabinet-making
industry, the significant growth of which can be seen in the records of the Lepke sales, held in Berlin on behalf of the Soviet
authorities on 6-7 November 1928 and 4-5 June 1929. The number of lots of Louis XV furniture (pre-1770) in Russian sales
is three times that of furniture made later, suggesting a significant decline in furniture imports post-1770.
A feature that distinguishes the work of Russian cabinet-makers from their Western counterparts is their departure from
strictly neo-classical patterns and designs. While their work does of course refer to these established motifs, their
interpretations have a far more intimate and bucolic nature.
Antoine Chenevière: Russian Furniture Weidenfeld & Nicolson. London. 1988.
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