Caddy spoon

ARTIST / MAKER: Antip Kuzmichev (maker)
DATE: late 19th century (made)
PLACE: Russia (made)
MATERIALS AND TECHNIQUES: Silver-gilt with cloisonné polychrome enamels

By the mid-19th century, a revival of traditional forms and design motifs flourished in Moscow and became fashionable among Russia’s wealthy aristocratic families. This renewed enthusiasm for traditional styles was prompted by a six-volume catalogue examining ‘Antiquities of the Russian State’ written between 1849 and 1853 by Feodor Solntsev (1801-1892), a young graduate from the Academy of Arts in St. Petersburg. Russian silversmiths and the workmasters they employed began specialising in enamelling techniques and decoration which derived from Medieval Russian ornament. Combined with contemporary styles such as Art Nouveau, a new sense of pride was instilled in traditional Russian craftsmanship.

Antip Ivanovich Kuzmichev ran a small silversmith cooperative renowned for cloisonné enamel work in the Art Nouveau style. A competitor to Fabergé, the firm often produced pieces that were retailed by the American company Tiffany and Co. in its Herald Street store (New York).