Russian Enamel

Casket "Dove"

    Casket "Dove"

    France, Paris


    Tenisheva, Maria

    Bronze; casting, champleve, patination

    13.3 x 11.5 cm

    On the casket: M. Tenisheva monogram - "MK", date - "1908", number: "4"


    Small volumetric bronze stylized figure "Pigeon" is made in the form of a casket, the lower part of which is a pedestal in the form of a rectangle. The bird’s rounded wings and paws are on the sides. The upper part of the casket - a detachable lid - is made in the form of a pigeon's head. The casket is decorated with multicolor enamels, the color scheme is built on the combination of gray, brown, orange, blue, white and yellow shades.

    Casket "Dove" is a part of the seven figures series called "The Enchanted Beasts” by N. Roerich and depicting "Fish", "Swan", "Cat", "Pigeon", "Pig", "Owl" and "Rooster". 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 also additional figure from "1" to "7", which, presumably, may be its number in the series.

    Small volumetric bronze figures were cast in the technique of "cire perdue" and covered with various tints of champleve enamel. Tenisheva repeatedly 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).