Silver; enamel lacquer, engraving, gilding
Hight 15.4 cm
Marks: "P.OVCHINNIKOV", double-headed eagle; T-shaped mark of Moscow Ddstrict Assay Department 1899 - 1908; alloy mark "84"
Ovoid tea caddy with detachable cap, made in the so-called "Japanese style". The caddy body, covered with red enamel lacquer, is decorated with a composition depicting a dragonfly caught in a spider's web. The caddy cap, also covered with red enamel lacquer, features the image of a leave and a ladybird.
In the second half of the 19th century, due to Japan opening its borders, Europe and America familiarised themselves with the art of the Mikado empire. Watercolours, wood and ebony carving, porcelain and bronze vases with inlaid work and lacquered pieces arose not only universal interest of the European public, but also imitation. Thus, for instance, in the 1870s' American company Tiffany started producing tableware with purple glazing and relief design in the Japanese taste. In Russia in the 1880s' Japanese works of art, knickknacks and their imitations held a place of honour in parlours of well-to-do people. Ovchinnikov's firm started manufacturing original objects with in the Japanese style, but because of fragility of enamel lacquer Ovchinnikov soon gave up producing such works, which are very rare now. (See: Russian silver of 16th - early 20th century. Spb., 2004)