A Monumental Russian Silver Wine Cistern and Stand, Sazikov after a design by August Karl Spiess, St. Petersburg, circa 1890
200,000 - 300,000 USD
bidding is closed
- Length over Handles 34 in.; 86.3 cm
comprising a bowl, liner, and stand, all gadrooned and with numerous exuberant and playful putti, some with cups of wine, amongst grape clusters and vines around the base and handles, the sides of the bowl with birds picking at fruit on the vine, the base raised on six bun feet, the bowl on four goat's hooves, the gilt slip-in liner with clusters of grapes, the raised rim of the base engraved in Cyrillic "Work of Sazikov. Model [by] A.K. Spiess"
The firm of Sazikov, known to have existed as early as 1793, was one of the greatest innovators in the field of nineteenth-century Russian silver. The firm’s prominence, in both nineteenth-century and contemporary assessments, is ascribed in part to their collaboration with important sculptors of the period. In addition to the usual tablewares and objets de vertu, Sazikov’s firm produced figurative, sculptural works, often representing historical themes or genre scenes. It was no surprise that they would choose to work with August Karl Spiess, one of the most talented graduates of the sculpture department at Berlin's Academy of Arts. After graduating in 1847, Spiess worked for two years in the Winter Palace in St. Petersburg, acquainting himself with the tastes of the Court as well as the masterpieces in the imperial collections. He became a sculptor at the Imperial Porcelain Factory in 1849 and, in keeping with his interest in the eighteenth century, his career there is associated with dozens of new designs for vases, mirrors, chandeliers, and sculpted figures reminiscent of rococo design. Spiess' technique and range of subject matter were more often than not inherited from earlier centuries and often included cupids, graceful gardeners and flower girls, court ladies and cavaliers, characters of the Commedia dell'Arte, and other figures typical of the fashionable Rococo Revival.