The exhibit in detail: Ladle with spout in the shape of a knight's head
Ladles as a drinking vessel originated in remote antiquity. Their appearance resembled a bird swimming in the water: it has always been a sacred creature for many tribes inhabiting the territory of the future Russian Empire. The ladle also became a symbol of abundance and prosperity.
Since the mid-17th century, the Silver Chamber of the Moscow Kremlin, which handled silver articles for the Tsar’s court, produced granted ladles. Granted (фward) ladles were of the most common forms of decorations for military and civil services. As a rule, such precious utensils were not used for their direct utilitarian purpose. Award ladles were carefully stored as signs of high merit, and were inherited.
There was a certain standard of their appearance: a double-headed eagle was placed in a circle on the bottom and on the ladle handle. The legend -- the inscription indicating the royal title and name of the recipient with the enumeration of his merits was placed along the ladle crown. The rest of the decoration may have taken some liberties to show the high professional level of the craftsman. The size of the ladle depended on the position of the recipient and the significance of his merits to the ruler and the state.
Today, under the heading "Exhibit in details" - ladle with spout in the form of a knight's head and commemorative inscription: "The special Imperial prize // The Emperor graciously grants // The Emperor // to 205th Shemakha regiment, // the best in shooting in 1910 // of all army regiments".
The size of the ladle and the engraved inscription indicate the awarding nature of this item. This silver ladle decorated with ornamental stones was made by craftsmen of P.A. Ovchinnikov factory in Moscow in 1908-1917.
The Neo-Russian style boat-shaped ladle with low walls and spout in the form of a knight's head in helmet, with high, geometrically shaped handle. The walls are decorated with smooth medallions surrounded by relief acanthus leaves and laurel branches on repoussed background. The engraved inscription is on the medallion below the spout. The sides of the handle are decorated with floral patterns; its top is ornamented with eight cabochon inlays of semiprecious stones.
А. A. Makarova // The Autumn of the Russian Middle Ages. SPb. 2018. С. 118.