Friday, May 2, 2014

48. Russia, a Land of Rich Heritage - Antiques, Art, (not just strife) - MY RUSSIA, now!

Что ни го́род, то но́ров.
So many countries, so many customs.
 Literal: Another city -- another temper.

I wanted to stray from CIDP-HSCT this one entry, and give you a glimpse of Russia's beautiful creations. It is a country of stunning artistry and should always be thought of for the positives, more than for the fleeting intermittent historical 'blip' of a tyrannical leader. Yes, there have been some. Yes, their legacy exists here, too, and Russia has a long way to go.

But so does our USA. My hope is that the evolution of the politics could more mirror the beauty of the people, their customs, their caring dear hearts, their normal lives. I have loved meeting these good people.

I'm an antique dealer, as you might know (it is part of why I love to travel, each the perfect companion - seek, find, research, travel).  And I want to show you some of Russia's beautiful objects. A few of the image come from our inventory - items we've owned or sold. Many come from others' images and I have no way to credit them (pulled from internet) so will only thank them here for also being people who love these beautiful things.

Please just think of this entry as a picture book. The Moscow Museums are rich with history, artifacts, incredible collections, vast hidden treasures. When you come to Moscow for HSCT or just as a tourist, be sure you dig into the museums, spend time. It is a city you will never forget.

Images of beautiful Russian creations, antiques 19th c and before.

(above) Faberge eggs, Russian enamel, Russian malechite box (one we sold recently)

A dismal sampling of Russian sterling silver, there is RICH heritage here in finely worked silver, either in niello (cig case shown), filagree (small box shown), spoons with vermeil and also niello (from our inventory) and I'm ashamed to say I have to send you to the internet to search out a richness of fine silver objects created in Russia. Astounding beautiful works of art, each.  

The Russian enamels, some shown here - kiln-fired, colors and style distinctly Russian but also copied in past 3 centuries by many European countries. But these are typical Russian forms, enamels. Oh, and that set of niello spoon, bottom left, a different process. 

From one exceptional object to another, both elegant and whimsical, you begin to see the soul of a Nation whose artisans and demand for beauty created these objects. And you can imagine a time in which they were made, treasured, can't you?  

Exquisite Faberge enamel work isn't the only show in town. Many exceptional guilloche and other methods of kiln-fired enamel come from other of Russia's 18th-19th century artists, silversmiths, goldsmiths, enamelists, too (and some still, watch for knock-offs) The quality of these old hand made works of art is astounding. Each a treasure - each the work of Russian hands.  

Carved light amber hound dog with gold and cabochon set gems, probably semi-precious eyes, as well. Ornamental and also magnificent diamond-loaded crowns, jewely in parure (full mathing sets, bracelets, necklaces, rings, tiara, belt buckles or even buttons - all in their fitted leather presentation cases).  Far too small a show but you begin to get an idea of some of the aesthetic heritage.  WOW! 

IMPORTANT NOTE: These are objects of a Nation, and there are very strict prohibitions in removing any antique from Russia. DO NOT BUY any here, as you will have problems at Customs upon exit for certain, and will likely lose your precious object. But enjoy seeing them!  We have many Russian customers, and it is a little easier to ship antiques into Russia as years have passed. Initially we had to ship to friends or family in Finland or somewhere close, and let them make their final journey in some other way our customer had in place. We enjoy our Russian customers, and value them highly.

TOURIST NOTE:  (because some have asked what to be sure to see)  I found Red Square to be magnetic in interest. I did EVERYTHING. From National Treasury onward: the whole deep red Moscow History Museum bottom to top before entering Pirogov for HSCT (I had a delicious 7 days here as a tourist). I would say, do all your legs or ability will allow. Enjoy meeting Moscow and the Russian people.  Oh, I skipped seeing Lenin's embalmed body. I don't know why - just didn't really seem like something I wanted to remember. 

Good trip to you all!

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