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    Ovchinnikov

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  • 0—382 000 000 EUR
  • 18 abr 1991—20 feb 2018

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A magnificent silver-gilt tea and coffee service, ovchinnikov, moscow

In Pan-Slavic taste, comprising a samovar, tea pot, coffee pot, sugar bowl, cream jug, cake basket, waste bowl, tray, tea strainer and sugar tongs, the surfaces engraved to simulate wood grain centring Cyrillic initials AKL below the coronet of a count, within bold geometric borders, the spouts and handles cast with cockerel heads, the samovar, cake basket and waste bowl applied with pierced friezes, addorsed horse head finials, ivory insulators, 84 standard, in two silk lined and fitted original Ovchinnikov wood cases with plaques engraved '6 Avril 1876' Countess Alexandra Litke (1849-1893), daughter of Count Karl Friedrich Konstantinovich Rehbinder, married Rear-Admiral Count Konstantin Feodorovich Litke (1837-1892) on 10 January 1869.  Count Litke was the son of Friedrich Benjamin von Lütke (Russified to Feodor Petrovich Litke), tutor to Emperor Nicholas I, Arctic explorer, President of the Russian Academy of Science, Admiral of the Russian Navy from 1855 and a Count of the Russian Empire from 1866.  Alexandra would pass away the year after her first husband, having re-married Prince Nikolai Alexandrovich Dondoukov-Korsakov.  The same design was employed by Ovchinnikov on a tea service, lacking a samovar, which sold, Sotheby's Zurich, 23 November 1973, lot 60, and the samovar, illustrated, G. Hill, Fabergé and the Russian Master Goldsmiths, 1989, pl. 206, p. 251. Ovchinnikov         Born into the most humble beginnings, Pavel Akimovich Ovchinnikov (d.1888) is a fine demonstration of the rapid developments in Russian society in the 19th century. A serf of Duke Volkonski, he was apprenticed to his brother’s goldsmithery in Moscow as an able draftsman. In 1853 he made use of his wife's dowry to establish his own workshop and the growth of this business was explosive: by 1870 the factory employed ninety workmasters within tightly-organised workshops and turned over 250,000 roubles annually and by 1881 was larger than any competitor. Validations of the firm’s success came in 1865 when it was made Supplier to the Court of the Tsarevich and in 1882 and 1883, when it won first prize at the All-Russia Exhibition and was granted the Imperial Warrant. In the first half of the 19th century foreign gold and silver manufacturers faced very little competition from within Russia, Ignatius Sazikov being a rare example. The strong national character of Ovchinnikov's designs was of great appeal domestically and furthermore were produced to the high standards ordinarily only expected of continental workshops. Although working across a wide variety of objects and media, the firm established a reputation for its technically daring enamel work with particular praise given at the 1893 Chicago and 1900 Paris World Fairs, even after the running of the company had been passed to the original founder’s sons. Russian decorative arts of the late Imperial era owe a significant debt to the extraordinary talents and energy of the self-made Pavel Akimovich. His efforts firmly established a unique Russian aesthetic and threw off the yoke of Western European dominance. His patriotic and moral ideas, espoused through his 1881 publication Some Information about the Organisation of the Workers’ and Trainees Live in Factories and Handicraft Schools, demonstrate an understanding and respect for the working classes of Russia, which was no doubt key to his success. Furthermore, it is certain that Carl Fabergé looked to the sterling example of Ovchinnikov when re-organising the structure and ideology of his father’s business in St Petersburg in 1882.

  • GBRGran Bretaña
  • 2014-11-25
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Prince andrei alexandrovich of russia: an imperial silver triptych

In Old Russian style, with two folding panels forming a cusped ogee arch, raised bracket hinges and clasp, the reverse engraved in Russian ‘Parents’ Blessings to a Son/ Andrei Alexandrovich/ born 12 January 1897’ below a budded cross and hinged hanging loop, the central interior painted with St Andrew flanked by St Xenia and St Alexander, within scroll borders on gilt grounds, 84 standard, in original Ovchinnikov wood case, the silk lining inscribed in ink with initials A.A., and with original Ovchinnikov cardboard box The birth of Prince Andrei Alexandrovich of Russia, the eldest nephew of Emperor Nicholas II, on 12/24 January 1897, the occasion celebrated by the gift of this icon from his parents, was recounted by his youngest daughter more than a century later: ‘My father was born in the Winter Palace in St Petersburg while the Dowager Empress and the Tsar played patience in the next room.  On the insistence of his grandmother, his birth was marked by the full twenty-one-gun-salute normally reserved for a new Grand Duke; not the fifteen-gun salute he should have had as the grandson of an Emperor.  The Dowager Empress wanted to see her daughter Xenia’s children treated as Grand Dukes, despite their lesser title’ (see Princess Olga Romanoff, ‘My father and his family,’ Royalty Digest Quarterly, 2007, issue 1, p. 15). All of Grand Duke Alexander Mikhailovich and Grand Duchess Xenia Alexandrovna's seven children were presented with identical triptych icons, or skladen, immediately after their births, commissioned from the Ovchinnikov firm, with their respective name saints depicted on the central panel, those of their parents on the wings.  With each birth, the Court iconographer rushed to produce the central panel once the gender was ascertained and name decided upon, with a deadline to finish in time for the Christening which, by Russian Orthodox church law, was held within forty days.  For Prince Andrei’s Christening, his uncle the Emperor stood as godfather. The icon was among the relatively few possessions with which Prince Andrei managed to escape Russia during the Revolution.  Initially placed under house arrest with his family at Ai-Todor, their estate in the Crimea, the prince, with his new wife, Elisabeta Ruffo di Saint Antimo, and his father, managed to reach France in 1918.  Their mission was to canvas support for the White Army in Europe.  The rest of the family, including the Dowager Empress and Grand Duchess Xenia, were rescued the following year by the British warship HMS Marlborough, sent by King George V. Prince Andrei spent the latter half of his life as a busy country gentleman at Provender in Kent, the ancestral home of his second wife, Nadine MacDougall, whom he married in 1942 following the death of his Elisabeta in an air raid at Hampton Court.  (Officiating at the Russian Orthodox service was Father Nicholas, who, as Sydney Gibbes, had served as tutor to the Emperor’s children, Prince Andrei’s cousins.) The icon remained a prized possession for the remainder of his life, kept in his ‘special drawer’ only to be taken out at Easter, a tangible link to a past which was sometimes distressing to recollect.  His daughter Princess Olga continues, ‘He accompanied the Empress Alexandra and her four daughters, his cousins, on their tour of the churches of Novgorod and remembered with pleasure the peasants’ delight at the fun and spontaneity of the young Grand Duchesses as they travelled through the countryside on the Imperial train.  It was the last time he would see them.  Within two years the Revolution had broken out; in later life he rarely spoke of them as he found the memories too painful’ (op. cit., p. 15-16). While other Imperial birth icons have appeared on the market, these are invariably of an official nature, presented by loyal subjects, bureacrats or municipalities.  Typical of these is the Ovchinnikov triptych given by the people of Tsarskoe Selo to the Emperor and Empress following the birth of their first daughter, Grand Duchess Olga, in 1895, which sold, Sotheby's New York, 16 April 2008, lot 492.  The present lot is marked out by its very personal connections to the Romanov Family, a gift from parents to child, which remained a central part of family life and worship for over a century.

  • GBRGran Bretaña
  • 2014-11-25
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A large silver-gilt and cloisonné enamel three-handled cup, feodor

The raised flared bowl divided into three panels, each centred with a roundel painted with figures depicted in Konstantin Makovsky's A Boyar Wedding Feast (1883): the reluctant bride and patient groom, the bearded elderly guest offering a toast, and the female guest holding a kovsh, their clothes highlighted with gold foil, within red frames on grounds of shaded polychrome foliage on stippled surfaces, the borders of further flowerheads within blue leaf scrolls, the handles formed as dragon necks with flowers and scales, the bulbous feet painted with griffins, struck FR and P.Ovchinnikov in Cyrillic beneath the Imperial Warrant, 84 standard Such was the popularity of Makovsky's A Boyar Wedding Feast in the late 19th and early 20th centuries that it was employed as a source for decoration by all the best-known craftsman producing enamel at the time, including Ovchinnikov, Rückert, Kurlyukov, Cheryatov and Khlebnikov.  During these turbulent decades in Russia, with society and its customs changing so rapidly, the painting succeeded by evoking the romance and innocence of an age long since lost.  Following exhibitions in St Petersburg, Moscow, Paris, London and Amsterdam, the picture won the Gold Medal at the Exposition Universelle d'Anvers in 1885, the same year it sold at auction to American jeweller and collector Charles William Schumann, who purportedly outbid Emperor Alexander III.  It later passed through a number of hands before Marjorie Merriweather Post purchased it in 1968; today the iconic painting remains a highlight of the collection at Hillwood Museum (cat. no. 51.79).    Feodor Rückert seems to have been especially inspired by Makovsky’s picture, or perhaps he was especially shrewd in responding to consumer tastes.  He reproduced the work in whole on numerous objects retailed by Ovchinnikov, Fabergé and by Rückert himself.  For example, see the Rückert/Ovchinnikov kovsh which sold, Sotheby’s New York, 4 November 2010, lot 17, decorated with a loose interpretation of Makovsky’s work; the two-handled tray depicting the entire composition, Sotheby's, New York, April 26, 2006, lot 279; the casket, formerly in the Greenfield Collection, which sold, Christie’s New York, 20 October 1998, lot 184; and another casket, the lid painted en plein, which sold Sotheby’s New York, 30 April 2003, lot 75.  On other objects, as with the present lot, he focuses on various figures in the painting, usually the bride and groom, suggesting that these were intended as wedding or anniversary gifts.

  • GBRGran Bretaña
  • 2016-06-07
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A pair of magnificent silver candelabra, ovchinnikov, st petersburg, 1892

Each cast and chased as a triumphal column with spiral bas-relief below a Corinthian capital, surmounted by a globe supporting an Imperial eagle and issuing six winged female herms crowned with nozzles, the plinths with acanthus borders and applied with plaques with engraved inscriptions: 'To our dear comrade and friend Count Vladimir Alexandrovich Stenbok Fermor of the Life Hussar/ Aide-de-camp Colonel Prince Vasilchikov; Colonel Likharev; Prince Gagarin I; Molchanov/ Staff Captain Baron Stanbershemdt; Volkov; Svichin; Orlov/ Rittmeister Bezobrazov; Voronov; Khrapovitsky; Krupensky; Prince Gagarin II; Ratch/ Coronet Komstadius; Pavlov; Myatlev; Verevkin; Svichin II; Charnysh/ Kiriakov; Plogutin; L'Vov; Kotlyarevsky; Astashev/ Lieutenant Miller; Von Meyer; Petrovo Solovovo; Golovin; Izdiniov; Durasov/ Gartong; Golenischev Kutuzov-Tolstoy; Graf Bobrinskoy; Graf Vorontsov-Dolikov; Erdeli; Prince Golitsyn', 84 standard Count Vladimir Alexandrovich Stenbock-Fermor (1847-1896) continued his family's tradition of military service established by his great-great grandfather, William Fermor (1702-1771).  Although of Scottish descent, William was ennobled by Empress Elizabeth Petrovna in 1758 after leading the Imperial Russian Army to victory against Prussian Emperor Frederick the Great at the Battle of Zorndorf during the Seven Years War.  With no male issue from his son, his daughter Sarah married Jakov Pontus Magnus Stenbock (1744-1824), of wealthy and noble Swedish lineage, and the family was thereafter known as Stenbock-Fermor.   Having married the exceptionally wealthy Nadezhda Alekseevna Yakovleva, Alexander Ivanovich Stenbock-Fermor (1809-1852), father of Vladimir Alexandrovich, purchased property in central St Petersburg on the Tuchkova Embankment and in Lakhta, on the bay to the north west of the city, and Russified his father’s name from Johann to Ivan.  Alexander Ivanovich’s eldest son, Alexei (1835-1916), was highly decorated as lieutenant-general of the Life Guard Hussars from 1885, while Vladimir Alexandrovich attained the rank of colonel in the same prestigious regiment.  Soon after graduating from the Imperial Lycée, Vladimir fought in the Russo-Turkish War but resigned from the army in 1879, the same year he married Maria Aleksandrovna Apraksina, first cousin of his first wife, Evdokiya Ivanovna Apraksina, who had died in 1875 after only five years of marriage.  With four daughters from his first marriage, a son, Alexander, was born to Maria and Vladimir in August 1878, a year before their marriage in November 1879. Vladimir Alexandrovich made numerous improvements to the family estate in Lakhta including construction of the grand house known as Beliy Zamok in the 1890s, which is still standing today.  In 1892, the year these candelabra were presented, construction of the Church of St Peter in Lakhta began, with money donated by the Count, who also provided the land.  This church, also still standing, commemorates the spot where Peter the Great dove to the assistance of drowning soldiers in 1724, resulting in the hypothermia from which he never recovered.

  • GBRGran Bretaña
  • 2015-06-02
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A silver-gilt and cloisonné enamel peacock-form kovsh, ovchinnikov

Elaborately enamelled with shaded polychrome feathers and foliage on raised surfaces, the prow with pierced crest, the underside and base engraved in Russian 'To the greatly esteemed F. M. Mironov from D.S, I.S, P.R, I.L' and dated ' XX 10.II.1895-1915', 84 standard Filipp Kuzmich Mironov (1872-1921) was a Bolshevik leader and Red Army commander.  Born in the village of Ust-Medveditskaya, he attended the Novocherkassk Cossack Cadet School from 1895 to 1898.  Military service for Cossacks lasted twenty years; thus the present lot was presented to him in 1915 on the twentieth anniversary of his start at the cadet school. Mironov fought with distinction in the Russo-Japanese War (1904-05) and First World War.  Following the Revolution, he supported the idea of democracy in the form of the Soviet Republic, was an active opponent of the policy of the Red Terror, and clashed with Leon Trotsky.  He was sentenced to death in 1919 for disobeying military orders, but grudgingly pardoned by Trotsky for his past accomplishments.  In a letter to Lenin, Mironov wrote on 31 July 1919: “In the practice of the present struggle, we have the opportunity to see and observe the confirmation of an insane theory: ‘For Marxism the present is merely the means, and only the future can be the goal.’  If this be so, then I refuse to participate in such an endeavour, when all the people and everything they have earnt are regarded as a means for the purposes of a future both distant and abstract.  Is modern humanity not a goal, not a people, does it not want to live, is it devoid of its senses, that with its suffering we wish to pay for the happiness of some distant humanity?  No, it is time to stop the experiment!” The following year, for personal bravery in battle and good governance of troops, Mironov was awarded the highest military medal, the Order of the Red Banner, as well as an honorary revolutionary weapon, a sword with a gilded hilt.  In 1921, however, his fortunes changed yet again.  He was arrested for his alleged involvement in a counterrevolutionary conspiracy and executed on 2 April.  Researchers R. A. Medvedev and S. P. Starikov assert that Trotsky himself gave the order to execute Mironov, citing anti-Cossack sentiment as well as personal rivalry.  Trotsky said of him, “Why did Mironov temporarily join the revolution?  Now it is quite clear: personal ambition, careerism, the desire to climb up atop the backs of the labouring masses.” Mironov’s life is the subject of Anatoli Znamenski’s popular novel Red Days and inspired the 1990 Igor’ Tal’kov song 'The Ex-Staff Captain', as well as the character Migulin in Yuri Trifonov’s novel The Old Man.  In 1960, Mironov was posthumously “rehabilitated” by the Military Collegium of the Supreme Court for lack of evidence regarding his crimes.

  • GBRGran Bretaña
  • 2016-06-07
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A pair of magnificent silver candelabra, ovchinnikov, st petersburg, 1892

Each cast and chased as a triumphal column with spiral bas-relief below a Corinthian capital, surmounted by a globe supporting an Imperial eagle and issuing six winged female herms crowned with nozzles, the plinths with acanthus borders and applied with plaques with engraved inscriptions: 'To our dear comrade and friend Count Vladimir Alexandrovich Stenbok Fermor from the Life Guard Hussars; Aide-de-camp Colonel Prince Vasilchikov, Colonel Likharev, Prince Gagarin I, Molchanov; Staff Captain Baron Standershald, Volkov, Svichin, Orlov; Rittmeister Bezobrazov, Voronov, Khrapovitsky, Krupensky, Prince Gagarin II, Ratch; Coronet Komstadius, Pavlov, Myatlev, Verevkin, Svechin II, Charnysh; Kiriakov, Plautin, L'vov, Kotlyarovsky, Astashov; Lieutenant Miller, Von Meysr, Petrovo-Solovovo, Golovin, Izdiniov, Durasov; Gartong, Golenischev Kutuzov-Tolstoy, Graf Bobrinskoy, Graf Vorontsov-Dolikov, Erdeli, Prince Golitsyn', 84 standard On 19 February 1775 an Imperial order came through to recruit the most distinguished in appearance, height and vigour military men who were also of an honest and sober disposition. Upon the instruction of Empress Catherine II, a special Hussar regiment was formed. It was to be expressly comprised of noblemen, the best men the army could offer from its lower ranks, as well as tall, attractive foreigners. Its first outing, on 10 June of the same year, was a parade to celebrate the peace agreement with the Ottoman Empire. The regiments uniforms were especially colourful and magnetic. It was said that the privileged often chose the Imperial Life Guard Hussars as their military destination for aesthetic reasons. The magnificent bright red, blue and yellow uniform appears more than a hundred years later atop the shoulders of Alexander II in Nikolai Sverchkovs 1873 equestrian portrait of the Emperor. In its infancy, the Imperial Life Guard Hussars was a prestigious, ceremonial regiment that performed reconnaissance and lifeguarding missions, but did not go into battle. After the Napoleonic Wars this changed and the Hussars began acquiring their almost mythical military status. Pushkin was fascinated by Hussars and wrote of his friend and poet P.P. Kaverin: To friends he is a faithful friend, to womens hearts a faithful torment, / And everywhere he goesa Hussar. Prince P.A. Vyazemsky, who was a leading figure of Russian Romanticism, said Hussarism was defined by valour and a kind of autonomous Cossack mentality. Literary critic V.G. Belinsky viewed the Hussar as a representative of the truly Russian soulample, raw, potent, sprawling, where dashing revelries, a love of noisy feasts and the colourful life were coupled with a depth of feeling and dignity in thought and action. Count Vladimir Alexandrovich Stenbock-Fermor (1847-1896) formed part of the Imperial Life Guard Hussars; it was three dozen of his military friends and colleagues who awarded him the present lot in 1892. His brother Aleksei (1835-1916) was a highly-decorated officer in the same regiment, attaining the rank of lieutenant-general (Vladimir rose to colonel). Their father, Alexander Ivanovich Stenbock-Fermor (1809-1852), married the exceptionally wealthy Nadezhda Alekseevna Yakovleva and purchased property in central St Petersburg, as well as a town house north-west of the city. Backed by the Yakovlev millions, the Stenbock-Fermors became famous among St Petersburgs aristocracy for throwing decadent balls and lively musical performances. Their historical footprint is strongest in Lakhta, outside the Russian ex-capital, where in the 1890s rose the grand house known as Beliy Zamok (The White Castle). Despite the long inscription, comprised of eight panels, the reason for the gift from the Imperial Life Guard Hussars to one of their own remains unknown. Vladimir had fought in the Russo-Turkish War, but resigned from the army in 1879. Perhaps the occasion was his forty-fifth birthday. In the same year the candelabra were presented, Stenbock-Fermor began the construction of the Church of St Peter in Lakhta, for which he donated the land as well as twenty thousand roubles, which may have occasioned the gift. Along with Beliy Zamok, this church comprises the familys greatest patrimony to their land. It commemorates the spot where Peter the Great was said to put his life at risk to save drowning soldiers. Vladimir Stenbock-Fermor was buried in Tsarskoye Selothe home of the Imperial Life Guard Hussars. His son Alexander managed to spoil the familys finances in record time. The historian Igor Bogdanov uncovered a letter from the Countess, Nadezhda Alekseevna, to Emperor Nicolas II, dated 29 October 1903, where she bewails that her son has ruined the family: From a capital of two million he has two hundred thousand left. The Countess implored the Emperor to take financial custody of Alexander. The fact that this custody was granted on the following day attests to the close relationship the Stenbock-Fermors held with the court because of their history within the Imperial Life Guard Hussars.

  • GBRGran Bretaña
  • 2016-11-29
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