89
89
A Russian silver Imperial presentation kovsh, 1704
Estimate
40,00060,000
LOT SOLD. 131,000 USD
JUMP TO LOT
89
A Russian silver Imperial presentation kovsh, 1704
Estimate
40,00060,000
LOT SOLD. 131,000 USD
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Important Silver, Vertu, and Russian Works of Art

|
New York

A Russian silver Imperial presentation kovsh, 1704
the border engraved with an inscription describing the presentation of this kovsh to Vologda tax collector Dmitry Berezin in 1704 for exemplary service, the interior of the basin embossed with a gilded double-headed Imperial eagle within a laurel wreath, the handle also engraved with the Imperial double-headed eagle, the prow set with a cast Imperial eagle, apparently unmarked
length 13 3/4 in., 35 cm
Read Condition Report Read Condition Report

Provenance

Sotheby's Zurich, 11 November 1978, lot 36, illustrated.

Exhibited

"The Russian Art Exhibition," London, 1935, no. 188.

Catalogue Note

The full text of the inscription reads: "By the Grace of God the Great Sovereign and Grand Duke Petr Alekseevich, Emperor and Autocrat of all the Russias, awarded this kovsh to Vologda resident Dmitrii Berezin for his service in 1703 when he was Burgomaster of Customs in Vologda and for collecting profits during past years [most recently] 1702. [Dated] 1704, November 15th." By the early 18th century, such presentation kovshi were reserved almost entirely for tax collectors and Cossack leaders. (On this, see A. von Solodkoff, Russian Gold and Silverwork, 17-19 Century, NY, 1981, pp. 85-86). Taxes on alcoholic beverages were one of the most important sources of revenue funding Peter the Great's transformation of Russia's military and cities. Successful tax collectors such as Berezin played a key role in allowing the young emperor to carry out his plans. We are grateful to Marina Dobronovskaya of the University of Delaware for assistance in cataloguing this lot.

Important Silver, Vertu, and Russian Works of Art

|
New York