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A magnificent Russian silver-gilt and enamel-decorated dessert service
1908 to 1917 Russia
Offered by Mayfair Gallery Ltd.
Forty-eight pieces in total comprising twelve dinner plates, the borders variously enamelled in translucent dark-blue, pale-blue, yellow, oyster, red, green and turquoise over guilloché engine-turning, enamelled with the letter 'R' surrounded with stylised foliage excecuted in champlevé enamel, the rims with a band of foliate decoration in plique-à-jour enamel, with scratched inventory number 3610C; twelve sherbert cups, stands and spoons, similarly decorated, the borders in blue, yellow, green, red, oyster and turquoise guilloché enamel, the cups applied with plaques supporting the enamelled letter 'R', the spoons enamelled en suite, the stands with scratched inventory number 3609C, the cups with inventory number 3608C.
Each of the forty-eight masterpieces in this magnificent service highlight the achievements of the Artels in Imperial Russia. The twelve person dessert service has been manufactured to the highest quality and is both fully complete and in perfect condition; a true rarity given the troubles experienced throughout Russia and Europe over the past Century. No fewer than six colours of enamel have been used with varied production techniques, including the very beautiful and impressive translucent bordering.
Items produced by the Gold and Silver Artels in Imperial Russia are highly celebrated owing to their overall quality, which was consistently very high. The Artels operated as factories in the sense that each individual had their specific role in the production process, but the focus was very much on producing unique objects and pieces of art.
The 11th Artel specialised in producing exquisite services, kovshi, sugar spoons and tea strainers in enamel and silver, and worked largely with cloisonné enamel, but also in plique-a-jour and the guilloché techniques. They were Faberge’s supplier.
Based in Moscow, the 11th Artel operated from 1908-1917 and is recognisable for the following characteristics: traditional style, complete enamel covering, Art Nouveau influence with triangular and rectangular enamel cells, volutes, spirals, silver beads, green, ochre, violet-and-cream tints in a hazy watercolour style.
Diameter of plates 27.6cm, diameter of stands 19.1cm, height of cups 16.8cm