Author Topic: Russian Imperial Antique * Questions and Answers from an Expert *  (Read 41711 times)

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Offline imperialrussia.com

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Dear Friends,

If you have questions about Russian Imperial Antique, I hope I can help you.

I am collecting Russian antique for many years.

Ask your questions here.

Regards, imperialrussia.com
* РУССКАЯ ИМПЕРАТОРСКАЯ КОЛЛЕКЦИЯ * ЦАРСКИЕ ПРЕДМЕТЫ АНТИКВАРИАТА *
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Offline Kiwi

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Re: Russian Imperial Antique * Questions and Answers from an Expert *
« Reply #1 on: August 06, 2010, 10:47:15 PM »
I do have a question about imperial antiques, namely those that were confiscated and used for trade with western nations. 

Have you any information concerning the firm of Y. Somersalo and Company in Hellsingsfors, Finland, that traded goods (valuables, probably gold, silver, etc.) from Russia for goods from the U.S. and Scandinavia (i.e., tractors, clothes, foodstuffs, etc.) from 1914 to about 1922?

I agree this is a strange question, but you might have access, and linguistic knowledge, I don't have to trace this company's dealings during those turbulent years in Russia.  You might also help to clear up a family mystery! 

Cheers,

Kiwi

 

Offline imperialrussia.com

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Re: Russian Imperial Antique * Questions and Answers from an Expert *
« Reply #2 on: August 09, 2010, 06:31:54 PM »
Hello Kiwi,

Well, this is a unique question you have. To get more information about this company from Finland,
I suggest you go to Russian Central Library or the state archives.

Regards, imperialrussia.com
* РУССКАЯ ИМПЕРАТОРСКАЯ КОЛЛЕКЦИЯ * ЦАРСКИЕ ПРЕДМЕТЫ АНТИКВАРИАТА *
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Offline JWK

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Re: Russian Imperial Antique * Questions and Answers from an Expert *
« Reply #3 on: August 12, 2010, 03:10:11 PM »
A couple of years ago I came across this lovely creamer on eBay of all places, placed a bid and am now the proud owner of this:


and the marks on the bottom.

(Maker’s mark “BK” Vasily Kangin ?  (P-L 1245?)
Assayersmark for St Petersburg 1896 (Assayer “A.Sh” in cyrillic, unidentified assayer, Postnikova-Loseva # 1192 ), head facing left, and a later “875” Sovietmark.
Bottom rim, handle and spout are all marked with tiny St Petersburg coat of arms-mark.)

Can you tell me anything about this mr Vasily Kangin?
Judging from this little creamer, its perfect dimensions, and its silky feel to the fingers he must have been quite the master-silversmith.
But was he well known, or just a run-of-the-mill silversmith? Where did he live, did he own his own business or was he employed by others?
I can't find any substantial info on him on Google in western script, I'm sure there's lots more about him in cyrillic but alas I can only "read" cyrillic not "understand" it.....

I'm not too sure whether it really IS by Vasily Kangin, I have the Postnikova book and nr 1245 came nearest to the actual mark (apologies for the lousy picture of it, it's just impossible to accurately photograph a tiny (2 mm at the most) silvermark.

Constantinople

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Re: Russian Imperial Antique * Questions and Answers from an Expert *
« Reply #4 on: August 12, 2010, 04:35:20 PM »
I found the following
Five silver coloured items, comprising: a Russian straight tapered small cream jug by Vasily Kangin, St Petersburg, 84 zolotniks, late 19th century, 5.5cm high; a south-east Asian chased small bowl; a south American filigree card case; a south or middle American cigarette case, with applied deities; and an Egyptian small bowl, 14.65 oz gross
 £120 -180

Sold for £190

http://www.dnfa.com/search.asp?view=keyword&auction=30365&keyword=%7C%7C&lotno=&noperpage=20&cat=&pg=140&orderby=&noofresults=513&catname=Full%20list%20of%20lots
 

Offline imperialrussia.com

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Re: Russian Imperial Antique * Questions and Answers from an Expert *
« Reply #5 on: August 12, 2010, 11:16:47 PM »
Dear JWK,

To answer all of your questions, I'm gonna try to upload a few pictures and as you can see, you're absolutely right. VK is Vasiliy Kangin and owner of a silver and gold mastershop (1898 - 1908).
He's not so popular like famous: Vasiliy Semenov, Ivan Khlebnikov, Gavril Grachev and others. But as you can see from the pictures, there are many silversmiths with the same initials (VK). I hope I answered your questions.




Sorry for the quality of the pictures. If you have more questions, I will gladly help.
* РУССКАЯ ИМПЕРАТОРСКАЯ КОЛЛЕКЦИЯ * ЦАРСКИЕ ПРЕДМЕТЫ АНТИКВАРИАТА *
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Offline Kiwi

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Re: Russian Imperial Antique * Questions and Answers from an Expert *
« Reply #6 on: September 15, 2010, 04:14:04 PM »
Hello Kiwi,

Well, this is a unique question you have. To get more information about this company from Finland,
I suggest you go to Russian Central Library or the state archives.

Regards, imperialrussia.com


Thanks for your reply.  I found my answer about the company in Finland.  Unfortunately, I found more than I bargained for concerning my family's dealings with it, and many other less-than-noble business ventures, not from the Russian Central Library, but from several historians in Turkey, Russia, Estonia, Britain, and the U.S.  I will need to create a new (perhaps too controversial) thread for the discussion.  I've searched the Alexanderpalace site, and no mention is made about the characters and sinister "firms" at work during the Russian Civil War (1917-22/23), so this will be news for folks. 

I will submit the thread to you in advance, in order to clear its contents.   

Cheers,

A very surprised and chocked Kiwi (with three VERY LARGE skeletons in her closet)

Naslednik Norvezhskiy

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Re: Russian Imperial Antique * Questions and Answers from an Expert *
« Reply #7 on: January 18, 2011, 06:38:53 PM »
I have a question about some of the items you offer for sale at your website.
The spoons with monogramms on this page, did they really belong to members of the Imperial Family, considering that their monogramms only are surmounted by simple noble's coronets (three leafes and two pearls) and the last one (supposedly belonging to Grand Duchess Elena Vladimirovna) with the multi-spiked baronial coronet? I would have expected the imperial crown above the monogramms of all Imperial Highnesses.

Offline imperialrussia.com

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Re: Russian Imperial Antique * Questions and Answers from an Expert *
« Reply #8 on: January 19, 2011, 03:33:58 PM »
All Russian Imperial silver monogram items, guarantee to be genuine and original, and
made by famous russian silversmiths: Gubkin, Khlebnikov, Grachev Brothers, and others.
* РУССКАЯ ИМПЕРАТОРСКАЯ КОЛЛЕКЦИЯ * ЦАРСКИЕ ПРЕДМЕТЫ АНТИКВАРИАТА *
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Naslednik Norvezhskiy

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Re: Russian Imperial Antique * Questions and Answers from an Expert *
« Reply #9 on: January 19, 2011, 03:50:41 PM »
All Russian Imperial silver monogram items, guarantee to be genuine and original, and
made by famous russian silversmiths: Gubkin, Khlebnikov, Grachev Brothers, and others.


You did not answer my question. Was it normal for members of the Imperial Family to use simple nobles' coronets above their monogramms instead of the imperial crown?

Naslednik Norvezhskiy

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Re: Russian Imperial Antique * Questions and Answers from an Expert *
« Reply #10 on: January 19, 2011, 06:12:43 PM »
Other Russian antiques specialists, please step in with your opinion!

If this is a scam to give genuine articles from the Russian Empire a fake Romanov provenance, I don't really mind that much, as it just serves people right if they're so ignorant that they don't know the difference between various coronets of rank and think any crown equals royalty. But I do love to expose that kind of fraud.

Offline Robert_Hall

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Re: Russian Imperial Antique * Questions and Answers from an Expert *
« Reply #11 on: January 19, 2011, 06:33:59 PM »
I am puzzeled by the ambiguity as well, Feodor.
 Being in the antique business for more years than I care to remember, we rarely had Russian pieces. When we did, they were given to a specialist dealer who had the proper clientele for such items. I left a message for him to call and possibly answer the question. One thing I am sure of though,  just because something is "Imperial Russian" whatever, [china, silver crystal, etc.] does not mean  the provenance is from the Imperial Family itself.
Life may not be the party we expected, but while we are here, might as well dance..

Do you want the truth, or my side of the story ?- Hank Ketchum.

Naslednik Norvezhskiy

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Re: Russian Imperial Antique * Questions and Answers from an Expert *
« Reply #12 on: January 19, 2011, 06:46:17 PM »
I am relieved to hear you share my doubts. I am also suspicious because of the Gothic letter forms, I didn't know Cyrillic letters could be written that way. Since the spoons evidently are made by known Russian goldsmiths, perhaps they were made for untitled Baltic nobles?

BTW here is another (intentionally?) mislabelled item from this dealer. He says the birch case is decorated with the Russian imperial eagle, but there is no St. George slaying the dragon in the arms. Instead it fits perfectly with the heart shield of the Austrian imperial arms: Lion (Habsburg), fess (Austria) and bend (Lorraine)! Plus it fits with the Austrian-Hungarian eagle holding both sword and sceptre in its right claw, while the Russian just holds a sceptre.

Here is yet another example of this dealer trying to pass off an item with the monogramm initals of V.N. and a noble's coronet as a Romanov item!
« Last Edit: January 19, 2011, 07:16:28 PM by Фёдор Петрович »

Offline Robert_Hall

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Re: Russian Imperial Antique * Questions and Answers from an Expert *
« Reply #13 on: January 19, 2011, 07:22:51 PM »
The first case is  quite obviously  Austrian  Could have been manufactured in  Russia but I  cannot see a reason why, Austria had/has fine silversmiths as well.  Even the black enamel inlay is a Habsburg colour.
Life may not be the party we expected, but while we are here, might as well dance..

Do you want the truth, or my side of the story ?- Hank Ketchum.

aleksandr pavlovich

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Re: Russian Imperial Antique * Questions and Answers from an Expert *
« Reply #14 on: January 19, 2011, 07:37:45 PM »
Re Reply # 12 and "FP":  In terms of Imperial Arms representation (Imperial Austria  vs. Imperial Russia), the arms on the birch case are definitely Austrian (and surmounted IMO by the Austrian Imperial Crown/Crown of Rudolf II) as both you and Robert have mentioned.  As to the black enamel being a "Habsburg" color, the Imperial Russian Eagle was also black (Am looking at a Russian enamelled spoon in my collection right now of 1896). Today's arms of the Russian Federation, of course, have an eagle of gold on red.  Regards,   AP.
« Last Edit: January 19, 2011, 07:49:02 PM by aleksandr pavlovich »