A.I. Kuzmichev's silver and bronzeware factory
Silver; enamel over filigree, chasing, gilding
13.7 х 7.5 х 7.8 cm
Marks: "A.Kuzmichev", on the sides two round medallions with the legend "CRAFTS EXHIBITION 1885", "AIK", "A.A./1889", "88", emblem of Moscow
Salt cellar in the Russian style in the form of a peasant's wooden salt cellar - a chair with four stepped legs, a round back with keel end and a lift-up lid - the seat. The edges of the back and the seat are scalloped and filled with a turquoise enamel frame with red (the seat) or white (the back) insets. In the centre of the back, in round frames in the form of a row of filigree enamel bands and stripes filled with geometric ornament, against a chiselled background is a monogram "ESA". The seat lid is decorated with a semi-circular frame with plant curls and flowers inside. Rows of filigree enamel rings and stylised trefoil lily decorate the salt cellar lateral sides.
The enamel colour scheme is built on a combination of green, turquoise, blue, white and red tints.
The salt cellar reproduces the share of old Russian festival peasants' salt cellars. The rich pattern of enamel decoration evokes wood carving, and the monogram on the back illustrates that the piece was made-to-order, as a gift.
The mark "CRAFTS EXHIBITION 1885" is a reminder of the 1st Crafts Exhibition held in Moscow in 1885 in the honour of the anniversary of Empress Catharine the Great granting independent rights to the class of craftsmen. A.Kuzmichev's firm presented its works and won a medal from the Committee of the 1st Crafts Exhibition in the honour of 100 years of existence of the Craftsmen Society