Treasures from Imperial Russia featured in Jasper52 auction Dec. 18
NEW YORK – Masterfully crafted items from Imperial Russia will be sold Dec. 18 at a Jasper52 auction curated in partnership with John Atzback, a leading authority in the field of Russian works of art. Absentee and Internet live bidding will be available exclusively through LiveAuctioneers.
The auction consists of more than 300 decorative masterpieces from the John Atzbach Antiques collection that reflect the rich traditions from Russia’s fascinating Imperial era (late 17th century to the 1917 Revolution).
John Atzback was introduced to the subject at the age of 9, when a neighbor, recognizing his interest, allowed him to examine her collection of Russian enamels. He was immediately intrigued and spent the next several years learning about Russian silver and enamels, honing his knowledge before he began collecting them.
With a lifetime of knowledge in Russian decorative arts, Atzbach is regularly consulted by collectors, dealers, appraisers, and auction house representatives from around the world. He has been directly involved in the formation of some of the world’s finest collections of Russian enamels, porcelains and Faberge.
Highlights in the sale are many and varied, with estimates ranging from several hundred dollars up to five figures on the top lots.
Among approximately 20 objects from the renowned Faberge workshops is a small gilded silver and shaded cloisonné enamel open salt by Feodor Rückert, Moscow, circa 1908-1917. Just three-quarters of an inch high by 1 1/2 inches in diameter, this baluster form open salt (above) is decorated in brightly enameled geometric motifs.
A gold-mounted gilded silver and guilloche enamel cigarette case (below) by Ivan Britzin, St. Petersburg, 1908-1917 is another striking piece. The thumbpiece is set with rose-cut diamonds and the interior bears the Cyrillic inscription “’Kavkaz-Galitsiia 1914-1915.”
Several silver and guilloche enamel photograph frames are offered in the auction. One by Ivan Britzin is circular with enameled translucent pale blue over an engine-turned ground (below).
Also from St. Petersburg, capital of the Russian Empire from 1912-1917, is a rare ice cup from the Arabesque Service, which was made by the Imperial Porcelain Manufactory. The baluster-form cup (below) is decorated with gilt and green scrolls above a flowering pink scalloped base. It has a blue Catherine II cypher mark on the underside.
A nostalgic curio is a porcelain Imperial presentation Easter egg (below). The oxblood flambé egg features a tooled varicolor gold monogram of Dowager Empress Maria Feodorovna, whose eldest son became the last Russian monarch, Emperor Nicholas II.
Uniquely Russian is a gilded silver and cloisonné enamel traveling triptych icon with the initials “IK” of an unidentified master from Moscow. The icon (below) depicts the Annunciation, flanked by the Presentation of Christ (left) and the Presentation of Mary (right) set in a folding triptych frame.