Tea glass, holder and spoon

ARTIST / MAKER: Maria Semenova (maker)
DATE: ca.1899-1908 (made)
PLACE: Moscow (made)
MATERIALS AND TECHNIQUES: Etched glass, silver-gilt with cloisonné enamel

In Russia tea is traditionally served within a tea glass and metal holder. This tradition began during the 18th century in male-dominated teahouses, while in private women would drink from porcelain cups. By the end of the 19th century, this custom had spread to everyday life in Russia. This tea glass and matching spoon were owned by the Grand Duchess Vera Konstantinovna (1854-1912), granddaughter of Emperor Nicholas I. The tea glass holder is engraved with a Russian inscription on the base reading ‘From patient Tamarochka / 25 February 1907’. The Grand Duchess was involved with numerous charitable institutions in Russia and Germany, and this tea glass holder was presumably a gift from a grateful patient.