A beautifully illustrated book which traces the history of Russian silver from before 1700 through the turbulence of the early 20th century to the American collections where much of it is found today
This volume surveys Russian silver production, its changing forms, styles, imagery and techniques over more than 250 years. Hillwood Museum’s Russian silver collection is the largest and most comprehensive outside Russia and curator emeritus Anne Odom provides a cultural, political and historical context in which to view this fascinating collection. Drawing on the collections of both the Hillwood and other US museums, the book features colour plates of over 160 pieces: presentation gifts, commemorative and liturgical objects and pieces made for the court and growing merchant class, including drinking vessels, tea and coffee services, and chalices used by the former imperial family.
Odom charts the history of Russian silver through the baroque styles of the reigns of Peter and Elizabeth, the move to Rococo and Neoclassicism under Catherine and Paul, revivalist styles under Alexander I and Nicholas I, 19th-century styles up to Fabergé, modernist production, and the fate of Russian silver after the Revolutions. Running throughout is the fascinating story of how and why so much Russian silver found its way into American collections—much of it sold by the Soviet government in the 1920s and 30s as it was considered to be of no artistic value. These sales mean that much of the extant Russian silver produced after 1835 is now housed in America.
Not only does this book provide a dazzling visual history of Russian silver, it is also a vital record of 18th- and 19th-century silver production in Russia.
About the Author
The late Anne Odom was former deputy director for collections and chief curator, and curator emeritus at Hillwood Estate, Museum & Gardens, Washington, D.C.
Table of Contents
- Major American Collectors: Contrasts in Taste and Focus
- Transition to Western Styles: Silver Before 1700
- Triumph of the Baroque: Peter and Elizabeth
- Rococo to Neoclassicism: Catherine and Paul
- Revival Styles from Empire to Neorococo: Alexander I and Nicholas I
- The Russian Style to Fabergé
- Fabergé to Modernism
- The Revolution and the Fate of Russian Silver
- Comments on Marks
- Romanov Dynasty
- Photographic Credits