Russian Enamel

Casket "Rooster"

    Casket "Rooster"

    France, Paris


    Tenisheva, Maria

    Bronze; casting, champlevé enamel, gold-plating

    14.9 х 12.2 х 9.5 cm

    M.Tenisheva's monogram on the casket bottom: "МК", date "1908"; "7"


    Small relief stylized figure "Rooster" is performed as a casket, the lower part of which represents a base in the shape of rectangle, to which the wings of a bird shaped as unwinding spirals are attached. The top part of the casket - a detachable cover - is made in the shape of a rooster's head with a ridged cockscomb and lowered tail. The casket is decorated with multi-coloured enamel, the colour scheme is built on the shades of black, green, blue, brown, red, coral, yellow, lemon and turquoise shades.

    In 1908 the Princess M.Tenisheva created the original series of seven figures, named by N.Roerich "The Enchanted Beasts " and depicting "Fish", "Swan", "Cat", "Dove", "Pig", "Owl" and "Rooster". In the Paris workshop small relief bronze figures were cast using "cire perdue" method and covered with champlevé enamel of various colour shades. On several occasions Tenisheva demonstrated them at the art exhibitions in Paris, London, Prague and Brussels.  

    In 1909, N. Roerich wrote in his article "The Enchanted Beasts", “Tenisheva applied the old-time craftsmanship to depict the ancient idol sphere of the home fire. To bring to life the shapes of forgotten talismans sent by the Goddess of prosperity to guard a man's home. Not an artist animalist is felt behind the stylized shapes, but her dreaming of the ancient talismans”.

    (quoted after: D.Ozer. The world of the Princess Maria Tenisheva's enamels. M., 2004. P. 120-121).

    Casket "Rooster" is a part of "The Enchanted Beasts" series. Six figures are designed as caskets, and one, "Swan", as a paperweight. Every figure not only features M.Tenisheva's hallmark – "МТ" and a year of creation – "1908", but additional figure from "1" to "7", which, presumably, may mean its numerical order in the series.