Tea caddy

ARTIST / MAKER: Nikolai Alekseyev (maker)
DATE: 1896 (made)
PLACE: Moscow (made)
MATERIALS AND TECHNIQUES: Silver-gilt with cloisonné enamels

This silver-gilt and cloisonné enamel tea caddy was made by Nikolai Alekseyev, a Moscow-based silversmith who specialised in enamelled silver for domestic use. By the mid-19th century, nationalistic pride and an enthusiasm for traditional ornament fuelled a revival of Pan-Slavic design, which drew its inspiration from Medieval Russian ornament. This caddy’s design is typical of the revival, characterised by a vibrant colour scheme and stylised ornament drawn from both Eastern and Western stylistic influences, and which reflect Russia’s position along several major trading routes.