Russian Enamel



    Russia, Velikiy Ustyug

    second half of the 17th century

    Copper; enamel over filigree

    18.2 х 20.2 х 20.1 cm


    Copper rectangular chest with rectangular two-tier cover with a loop handle. All four sides of the chest are framed with wide band of white enamel which serves as the background for smoothly placed enamel filigree polypetalous flower rosettes with two curled leafy sprouts branching away from them. The external side of the chest cover is decorated with floral pattern on white background similar to the pattern on the chest sides. The cover edge is ornamented with a belt of dentils. The enamels' colour scheme is based on the combination of white, green, blue and yellow tints.


    Ornamental decoration of the chest is typical of the jewellery work of Veliky Ustyug of the second half of the 17th century. At that time this city was a large center of art in Russia with a vibrant development of enamel industry. Numerous extant works of Veliky Ustyug masters make it possible to bring to light the specific features of Veliky Ustyug enamels; their specifics consisted in using white enamel as the background, cold paint colour schemes and domination of floral motifs.