Rare Antique Russian Imperial Czar 19th Cent. Lacquer Box "troika" Vishnyakov
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Rare Antique Russian Imperial Czar 19th Cent. Lacquer Box "troika" Vishnyakov:
0239 Russian 19th Century Imperial Era "Troika" Box
by Vishnyakov In these uncertain times, it pays to invest in quality.
- Measurements (approximate):
- Diameter: 2+7/8 inches
- Height: 1+7/8 inches
This stunning box shows a troika racing through the winter snow.
The box has a beautiful old gold tint that adds to the luster and beauty,
and makes it look like it's lit from the inside.
It is in wonderful condition, it looks new. Only upon very close
examination, one can see the very fine creasing that is commensurate
with the box's venerable age.
The very tiny pinhole, as seen in the photographs, appears to be
a manufacturing defect, and absolutely does not detract from the
box's astounding beauty.
Vishnyakov and Sons manufacturing were awarded numerous Gold Imperial Medals
and were the predecessors of the renowned Fedoskino factory.
The box is as interesting on the inside as well. These are Gold Medals
from Tsars Alexander II and Alexander III. The text says:
Top (under the crown): Grand Gold Medal 1870
Left Medal: Medal of Tsar Alexander III
Right Medal: Medal of Tsar Alexander II
Center Medal: Moscow Polytechnic Exhibition, Year 1872
Ribbon (under medals): Vishnyakov and Sons
Bottom (address): Moscow (province), Ostashkov (town)
Some of the letters are no longer used in modern Russian.
Read more about these special Russian boxes.
Comes to you gift-ready for yourself, or that someone special.
A picture is worth 1000 words. Please study them closely before you offer.
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Russian lacquer boxes, plaques, & brooches are among the most beautiful and distinctive
of that country's art achievements in the 20th century.
The boxes feature intricately hand-drawn miniature paintings
based on a variety of themes, including fairy tales, poems,
country life, troikas, landscapes, battle scenes, and fine art masterpieces.
They get their name from the many layers of lacquer (most often, black and red)
that are applied to both their outside and inside sections.
Coats of clear lacquer, or varnish, are the last layers to be put on
and provide a stunning shine to the box.
The boxes, which vary in size, are extremely well crafted.
It can take as long as two months to make a box out of papier-mache,
a material many artists prefer because of its ability
to withstand changes in atmospheric conditions and to avoid cracking.
The beautiful lacquer box sitting on your mantel today
will likely be enjoyed by many generations to come.
But it's the miniature paintings that bring real value to the boxes.
Lacquer artists must not only excel artistically,
but must also have the patience to spend long stretches of time
working on the many small intricate sections of their composition.
Artists will typically use strong magnifying glasses on these spots
and very fine brushes (some with just one hair!) made out of a squirrel's tail.
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The boxes most widely sought after come from one of four small Russian villages -
Palekh, Fedoskino, Kholui, and Mstera.
Special schools have been established at these places where artists train
for four years before they become members of each village's art community.
Each village also has its own unique style.
Artists from Fedoskino, the birthplace of Russian lacquer miniature,
use a more realistic style of painting than the the other villages.
They also use oil paints for their drawings instead of the egg-based temperas.
To get the glowing effect, actual gold or silver leaf is applied to the background.
Three to four layers of the oil paints, along with seven coats of lacquer,
are applied to each box before it is completed.
This layering brings out a radiant quality in the drawings
and the colors seem to emanate from within.
This is called "translucent painting".
Sometimes, an underlay of mother of pearl
enhances this radiance and adds a lovely iridescence of its own.
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Boxes from Palekh might well enjoy the highest world-wide acclaim.
The lacquer art of Palekh has been called "a small miracle."
A label particularly fitting since the village has been specializing in
icon-painting for centuries since the times of the Byzantine Empire.
The icon-painting has only been interrupted for some seven decades
by the 1917 Russian revolution - merely a blink in time historically speaking.
It is during those seven decades that the artists of Palekh applied their
ancient methods and skills, and their talents to the "new" art form
of lacquer miniature. An art form that they now practice along with
the traditional icon-painting.
To many collectors, Palekh boxes have the most elegant look to them.
When you hold one in your hand, you know you are holding something truly special.
Most often in Palekh works, innumerable fine lines of gold leaf,
polished to a glow by a wolf's tooth, are applied to the ornamental border and drawing itself.
A simple one-color background then provides a beautiful contrast to the gold leaf and scene itself.
This background, usually black, also serves to take the observer into a new world
where one's concept of time and space is left to the imagination.
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The village of Kholui, meanwhile, began painting lacquer miniatures in the 1930's,
later than Palekh and much later than Fedoskino, where this art began in the 18th century.
Perhaps because of the late start, Kholui artists are less bound to tradition
or one particular style than the other villages, and seem to take a bolder approach to their works.
Backgrounds for Kholui works are occasionally one solid color (like Palekh),
but more often than not the artist fills this area with swirls of tone and shade.
Partly for this reason, Kholui works appear brighter than Palekh boxes
and seem to fill up more of the available space.
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Boxes from Mstera in contrast usually have the lightest colors.
Artists there almost never choose black for their backgrounds, and instead
use light blue, pink, gold or ivory colors. With the addition of these colors,
landscapes generally play a more prominent role in Mstera works,
and people and objects tend to take a place within the background setting
rather than remain separate from it. In Mstera, a wide range of artistic talent exists.
While some artists paint dynamic and elaborate scenes from fairy tales or famous battles,
others concentrate on exquisite floral designs.
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A Word about Authenticity
Every hand-painted lacquer box is an authentic piece of art,
although there are different levels of quality.
Some of the best boxes are painted by fully credentialed artists
employed in one of the above four villages at officially recognized organizations
(where the box itself is created and assembled).
These works, which are made out of papier-mache, are almost always of very high quality.
They come with certificates of authenticity along with the village's trademark
imprinted on the box itself.
Most vintage boxes however usually lack the certificate
since their original owners did not think it important to keep them.
What really distinguishes an authentic piece of art from a cheap imitation
is its unmistakable quality:
Intricate & precise details both in the picture & the surrounding border,
a sense of depth that comes from the many layers of varnish,
and the overall artistic quality.
Also, the signature on the box should agree with the style, materials used,
and the colors of the box.
It is of course best to purchase them from reputable sellers
with solid knowledge in this particular art form.
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We only accept Paypal. Payment must be received within 48 hours of purchase.
Please let us know if this is a problem.
International buyers: Duties, charges & taxes are not included.
Please check with your customs office before you buy.
These charges are usually collected by the delivery company or when you pick up the item.
Customs forms will reflect actual selling price.
If you bought multiple items within 5 days, DO NOT PAY FOR THEM SEPARATELY - ask for an invoice.
We will re-price shipping based on weight/volume.
If the item is 13 ounces or less, we'll ship First Class priced by weight.
Anything above 13 ounces, we'll ship Priority Mail priced by volume.
Rest assured, we will pass the savings onto you.
We recycle packaging, to reduce cost, and save trees ☺
If you need it faster, let us know and we will add the higher shipping price to your invoice.
International buyers: Because of increased postage costs,
there is NO free shipping. Contact us regarding shipping costs.
We want you to be happy. Most items are returnable, unless otherwise specified.
Please let us know right away, and return in an unused/unworn condition within 3 business days of receipt.
- We will treat our customers as we would like to be treated.
- We are collectors and purveyors of luxury items. We don't sell anything we wouldn't use ourselves.
- All items are authentic and genuine, clean, inspected by us,
and stored in a smoke-free and pet-free Environment.
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