A MONUMENTAL GEM-SET SILVER AND PICTORIAL ENAMEL KOVSH, EGOR CHERYATOV, MOSCOW, 1908-1917
the prow inset with a shaped panel painted en plein with a detail view of The Choosing of the Bride by Konstantin Makovsky (1886), flanked by repoussé stylized flowers and scrolling foliage, the high shaped handle with panels of enamelled flowers, further repoussé and chased with stylized Slavic griffons, inset overall with coloured cabochons, struck with maker's initials, partial 84 standard mark
length 41cm, 16⅛in.
The central panel in good condition, with only three tiny spots of paint blistering, the body possibly originally gilt, with small areas of gilding remaining. The silver body in very good condition, with some minor dents, scratched and time wear. The top half of the handle very slightly loose; the top handle surface with a further few very minor dents.
In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue.
NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS PRINTED IN THE SALE CATALOGUE.
The monumental size, masterfully executed pictorial enamel and impressive silverwork that frames it, make the present kovsh one of the most significant known examples from the workshop of Egor Cheryatov. Frequently commissioned by Fabergé and Lorie, Cheryatov was an early twentieth century master of the Russian Art Nouveau and the en plein enamels incorporated in his works are of the highest quality, like those of Rückert and Ovchinnikov.
The impressive size and quality of execution suggests that the present kovsh was probably commissioned or intended for the wealthy merchant classes. The use of The Choosing of the Bride by Konstantin Makovsky relates it to several important enamels from the period. For a related en plein depiction of the scene by Rückert, please see V. Voronchenko et. al., Fabergé Treasures of Imperial Russia, Fabergé Museum, St Petersburg, New York, 2017, p. 258.
Makovsky’s evocative, large scale paintings depicting old Boyar society perfectly encapsulated the patriotic nostalgia expressed throughout the Russian Empire at the turn of the century. Makovsky’s works were favoured by enamel artists not only for their ‘Russianess’ but also for their striking colours. Cheryatov’s characteristic setting of these richly enamelled scenes in related silver surrounds emphasises their quality as jewel-like ‘miniatures’, with an emphasis on the quality of rendering rather than incorporation into a larger decorative enamel scheme.
A smaller related kovsh, also marked for Cheryatov, depicting Kissing Rite: Feast at the Boyar Morozov's Home by Makovsky was sold Sotheby's London, 4 June 2003, lot 463.