Igor Sychev, Russian Bronze, Moscow, 2003, p. 95.
This superb and beautifully chased chandelier can be attributed to Andrei Schreiber based upon its very close similarities to a chandelier attributed to him in gilded and patinated bronze illustrated by Sychev, op. cit., p. 95, now in the A.S. Pushkin Museum, Moscow, reproduced here in fig.1. The aforementioned chandelier has identically cast satyr mask flaming nozzles and stylised foliate motifs on the reservoir to those on the offered chandelier. Sychev op. cit. states that the Pushkin chandelier is probably one of Schreiber’s early pieces when he collaborated with the architect L. Rusca.The Pushkin chandelier is also stated to be similar to one in the Anichkov Palace in the dressing Room of Nicholas I until the mid 19th century as shown in a watercolour by L. Premazzi.
He was one of the most celebrated Russian bronzesmiths of the early part of the 19th century. He spent time in St. Petersburg during the 1790’s as part of his apprenticeship. Schreiber was of German origin and arrived from Yuriev (now Tartu) and opened his first workshop at the age of twenty-four. A few years later an announcement appeared in the St. Petersburg Gazette, 5th October 1809, no. 80, p. 1019, `On Sennaya Street…the master bronze-smith Schreiber has various bronze items in store, to whit: lustres, lamps for the wall, the table with shades, candlesticks, candelabra, vases, fireplace items and other bronze articles of furnishing…’
Schreiber’s early works were based upon French models and good examples of his chandeliers were made in 1808 for the house of the merchant Fyodor Illin on Fontanka embankment (see L. Medersky, House no. 41 on the Fontana Embankment, Architectural Heritage, no.4, Leningrad-Moscow, 1993, pp. 155-165.)
Schreiber achieved fame later when he began working from designs of Russian architects and very much developed his own style which was independent of contemporary French models. It is known that he worked for the celebrated architect K.I.Rocci in around 1816 and participated in the decoration of new interiors of the Palaces of Pavlovsk, Anichkova, Zimnego, Elaginostrovskogo and Michelovskogo.
A gilt-bronze chandelier attributed to Schreiber, was sold as lot 65 in these Rooms, 8th June 2005.
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