Tula Art Steel in the museum Collection exposition (video)
The craft of artistic steel, mastered to perfection by Tula jewellers and armourers, holds a special place in the history of Russian culture. Located at the crossroads of trade routes and rich in iron ore deposits, Tula had been a key center of national metallurgy for over five centuries. The presented video is dealing with the history of founding in 1712 by Peter I the country first "iron works of a new type" in Tula. For example, in the "Description of the Tula Armoury" dated 1806, "the skill with which weapons and many other things are processed in this factory is so superior that its products as for the purity and beauty in all its parts are not inferior to products of the best factories in Europe". Foreign travelers respectfully called Tula the "Russian Sheffield", thus comparing it with the region where the most prestigious 19th century steelworks operated.
The world-famous Tula blades and rifles were a great source of national pride, but the factory's "civilian" products for private use played an equally important role.
It is fair to say that that the products of the Tula factory covered all areas of the material world in the 18th and 19th centuries, from "steel diamond" buttons to unparalleled metal furniture.
The museum Collection exposition features rare Tula sewing clamps made in the mid-19th century, inextricably linked to the tradition of needlework among noblewomen; caskets and moneyboxes.
Tula Art Steel items were purchased not only by aristocrats, but also by wealthy townspeople and peasants. They were in great demand and were considered not only a handy tool for needlework, but also a fashionable accessory.
On the eve of Russia Day, a holiday symbolizing the unity of our multinational people, solidarity and shared responsibility of the Russians for the present and future of the country, we congratulate all citizens of our country.
We would like to wish everyone to be proud that we are Russians and that Russia has at all times had talented people and skilled artisans. This is undoubtedly proved by the skillful work of Tula armourers in crafting miniature art steel items, -- the collective image of the Tula master armorer Levsha by Nikolai Leskov* bears witness to this.
* "Levsha” (“The Tale of the Crosseyed Lefthander from Tula and the Steel Flea”) is a well-known story by Nikolai Leskov, written and published in 1881. Styled as a folk tale, it tells a story of a left-handed artisan from Tula, who surpassed his English colleagues by providing a clockwork steel flea he had made with horseshoes and inscriptions on them.