Tea caddy

ARTIST / MAKER: Vasilii Rukavishnikov (maker)
DATE: 1896 (made)
PLACE: Russia (made)
MATERIALS AND TECHNIQUES: Engraved silver, internal cork stopper

In the mid-19th century, Russia experienced a revivial of traditional methods and materials used in past art forms and craft techniques. Textured silver became particularly favoured, either with chased decoration or deliberate trompe l’oeil. The decoration on this caddy is known as a rockwork pattern and is influenced by the naturalistic trend seen in the art nouveau movement or ‘Stil Moderne’ as it was known in Russia. It is attributed to the silversmith Vasilii Rukavishnikov who was based in Moscow, a significant city for trade and a centre of goldsmithing.