Author Topic: Russian Imperial Antique * Questions and Answers from an Expert *  (Read 44069 times)

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Naslednik Norvezhskiy

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Re: Russian Imperial Antique * Questions and Answers from an Expert *
« Reply #15 on: January 19, 2011, 07:48:48 PM »
Really, basic heraldic knowledge seems to be very lacking even among antiques dealers. Even John Atzbach, whom I understand to be known as both knowledgeable and trustworthy, gets it wrong here. The multi-quartered shield is NOT the Prussian arms, as he claims, but those of Holstein-Gottorp!
« Last Edit: January 19, 2011, 07:52:20 PM by Фёдор Петрович »

aleksandr pavlovich

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Re: Russian Imperial Antique * Questions and Answers from an Expert *
« Reply #16 on: January 19, 2011, 08:26:54 PM »
Re "FP" and your reference to the illustration of an original "pot a creme" with the arms of Russia and Holstein-Gottorp:  The American porcelain manufacturer Boehm, made excellent boxed REPRODUCTIONS of one of the plates from that service, and sold them at the "Nicholas and Alexandra" Exhibition/Tour in the USA in 1998-99.  I purchased several, and must say they are a "show-stopper" when displayed!   Regards,   AP.

Offline Robert_Hall

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Re: Russian Imperial Antique * Questions and Answers from an Expert *
« Reply #17 on: January 19, 2011, 09:48:14 PM »
I remember those plates, AP.  I do not know how my partner came across them, but I  searched out the arms- I have not a few books on the subject.  They sold very fast, I was not interested in keeping one I rarely requisition  merchandise  now. Trying to get rid of a lot that  I have have already.
 BTW, I did not mean to imply that black was exclusive to the Habsburgs, just another indicator in the identity of the case.
 The latest example, the cup, how could it be Prussian/German ? Their eagle was single headed.
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Naslednik Norvezhskiy

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Re: Russian Imperial Antique * Questions and Answers from an Expert *
« Reply #18 on: January 19, 2011, 09:52:58 PM »
The latest example, the cup, how could it be Prussian/German ? Their eagle was single headed.

John Atzbach thinks it's the arms of both Russia and Prussia surmounted on the same bicephalous eagle, just because it was a gift from Friedrich the Great to Grand Duke Paul. Obviously a diplomatic impossibility!

But what remains shocking is the other dealer's attempt at passing of items with monogramms under simple nobles' coronets as Romanov stuff! When it could have belonged to Lenin's family, considering that they achieved hereditary nobility, couldn't it? Could a chinovnik use a real noble's coronet above his monogramm when he achieved hereditary nobility, without having been granted arms? What about chinovniks with personal nobility, were they also entitled to a noble's coronet on their cutlery!?
« Last Edit: January 19, 2011, 10:10:48 PM by Фёдор Петрович »

aleksandr pavlovich

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Re: Russian Imperial Antique * Questions and Answers from an Expert *
« Reply #19 on: January 19, 2011, 09:58:19 PM »
Re Reply #17:  Hello, Robert! Forgive me if I am not 100% correct/comprehensible, as I am doing this quickly and from memory, but I believe that the service was a wedding present to the recipients FROM the Prussian Frederick II (made in the Berlin Factory).  Since the recipients would be residing (and using the service) in Russia, it was natural to display the two shields of each individual ---Russia and Holstein-G.-----on the "motherland"/host Russian eagle, as per the groom's importance/position.  Best regards,  AP.
« Last Edit: January 19, 2011, 10:21:01 PM by aleksandr pavlovich »

Naslednik Norvezhskiy

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Re: Russian Imperial Antique * Questions and Answers from an Expert *
« Reply #20 on: January 19, 2011, 10:22:19 PM »
the two shields of each individual ---Russia and Holstein-G.-----
Both were Paul's. His wives were from Hesse and Württemberg.

aleksandr pavlovich

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Re: Russian Imperial Antique * Questions and Answers from an Expert *
« Reply #21 on: January 19, 2011, 10:35:47 PM »
Ah, thanks, FP!  As I said, I was quickly replying and doing so from memory! I appreciate your help!  Regards,  AP.

Offline David Pritchard

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Re: Russian Imperial Antique * Questions and Answers from an Expert *
« Reply #22 on: January 21, 2011, 10:03:36 PM »
The spoons pictured did not belong to members of the Imperial House. I have on one occasion many years ago possessed a set of a half dozen Faberge forks bearing the cypher of GD Nikolai Nikolaevich. I have also seen many pieces of silver made for members of the Imperial House and they have always borne the the Imperial Crown. The coronet of a Dvoryanin would not have been acceptable. After all, pre-1917 Russia known for the extravagance of its silver and the adherence to strict protocol.

aleksandr pavlovich

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Re: Russian Imperial Antique * Questions and Answers from an Expert *
« Reply #23 on: January 22, 2011, 08:39:14 AM »
Reply to Post # 22 and "David Pritchard" :   My experiences involving the usage of the Imperial Crown surmounting the initial/monogram of Imperial Family members on flatware, has been the same as yours.  I still have examples in my collection. And you are correct:  Russian silver is usually very-well marked.  Still, mistakes are numerous in attribution.  An example:  Some time back, 2 large Russian spoons were offered for sale accompanied by good, clear photos and a nice write-up stating that these were made for and used as the personal property of the Grand Duke Michael Alexandrovich, the son of the Emperor Alexander III (and a younger brother to the Emperor Nicholas II).  The spoons bore the Imperial Crown, Cyrillic owner's monogram/cypher, etc.  The only problem was the DATE of manufacture, clearly shown.  IF.....if.... these spoons HAD been the property of the brother of Nicholas II, then the date indicated that they were made for him to use (if I recall correctly) three years beore his birth!  In truth, they were made for the use of ANOTHER Grand Duke Michael, son of Nicholas I !!!! The date fitted exacrly.  I contacted the dealer, who readily agreed that his write-up was in error, corrected such and did indeed sell the spoons regardless.  They were absolutely authentic; just a case of mistaken owners! Of course, many collectors would probably have PREFERRED that they be possessions of the so-called "last Emperor," not from a somewhat obscure relative .   Regards,  AP.
« Last Edit: January 22, 2011, 09:10:02 AM by aleksandr pavlovich »

Offline David Pritchard

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Re: Russian Imperial Antique * Questions and Answers from an Expert *
« Reply #24 on: January 22, 2011, 03:29:40 PM »
I do not even bother to correct the mistakes of antique dealers. Few are interested in my unsolicited opinions and most have firmly decided exactly what they are selling before contacted. A very small number have however, corrected their listings and some probably made even more money. Antique dealers are interested in accurate history, just in turning a fast profit.

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Re: Russian Imperial Antique * Questions and Answers from an Expert *
« Reply #25 on: January 23, 2011, 11:31:20 AM »
I find it hit and miss as well with the antique dealers I have contacted about their mistaken attributions.  One corrected his listing when I corrected him that the "Winter Palace Service" plate he was selling was just an ordinary Kuznetsov plate of the 1900s that someone had painted a crudely done Imperial Eagle on top of.  Another insisted I knew nothing and was wrong, when I pointed out the same thing, even going so far as to send him a photo of a genuine Winter Palace Service (aka Coronation service) plate I have...

Another was selling a "Faberge" piece, which had a Moscow assay mark SIX YEARS BEFORE Faberge opened the Moscow branch, and still told med I was wrong when I showed him the chronology...

David is right. People believe what the want to believe...especially if they think they can make a buck.

Offline Robert_Hall

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Re: Russian Imperial Antique * Questions and Answers from an Expert *
« Reply #26 on: January 23, 2011, 11:59:24 AM »
This is why we do not  deal in such items. Often the seller believes in some old family myth- and we have heard them all!
 - proof not withstanding.
 If an item has some merit, it goes immediately to  our experts in the field for them to handle. I have little to do with the business any longer, but my partner does bring things home for me to identify. We have seen more Faberge Imperial eggs than he could have ever produced, along with  silver and gold.  I did keep a Faberge presentation teaspoon set for a while, it was so beautiful. It was not Imperial but a nice set anyway. Eventually that went. All I have now are a few of the  Easter eggs for  bracelets. Some are Faberge, some not.  They are nice in my dollshouse. Speaking of which, I have 2 perfect miniature Faberge  Imperial eggs, with the surprises.  Of course you need a magnifying glass to really see them, as they are perfect 1-1 scale.
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Do you want the truth, or my side of the story ?- Hank Ketchum.

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Re: Russian Imperial Antique * Questions and Answers from an Expert *
« Reply #27 on: January 23, 2011, 12:03:13 PM »
99.5% of what is being sold as "genuine Faberge" is not.

Offline Robert_Hall

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Re: Russian Imperial Antique * Questions and Answers from an Expert *
« Reply #28 on: January 23, 2011, 12:21:33 PM »
Don't we all know it, FA ?  Most of it is so obvious.  But you cannot convince the believer, can you ? Sort of reminds me of another story.....

 Imperial China  is another minefield.   I had a lady in LA who took blank china and copied Imperial patterns on  them. Not very well, I might add. She sold this stuff as originals. Only the blind would swallow that line. and even then, they would be suspicious. Anyway, our shop was on a row of antique shops, there  were 5 or 6 of us. She took this junk to each one of us and was dismissed right off. When she cam to me,  I told her we do not buy copies or fakes. [therer is a difference] She was highly insulted and stormed out.  Later I was visiting another shop and noticed he had a couple of her pieces, the poor lad was new at this and asked what I thought of them.  I told him the truth about them. He sighed, took them off the shelf and I guess binned them.  He had spent only about $10 each for them, on the hope they were real. Last I hear, and this was years ago, that lady was still trotting all over LA trying to sell this junk. I think that must have been her only sale. I know some ended up in the thrift/charity shops. Must have been giiven as gifts.
« Last Edit: January 23, 2011, 12:42:21 PM by Robert_Hall »
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Re: Russian Imperial Antique * Questions and Answers from an Expert *
« Reply #29 on: January 23, 2011, 12:57:48 PM »
My favorite story on the subject: A Faberge show was being held at a museum. A man who loaned his clock to the exhibit, among other pieces, was attending the preview party, and a well known dealer was chatting with him. Dealer "Pretty clock, but you know it's a fake." Lender "I'm rather certain it is genuine." Dealer "No, new research has shown these are fakes. It isn't genuine." Lender "I beg to differ. It's real". Dealer "Really, well where did you get it?" Donor "I bought it from YOU twelve years ago." The Dealer himself told me the story!!