Published: March 5, 2019
Any jaunt through Modernism usually takes a stop in Russia around the early 1900s, touching on the groundwork laid by Symbolism as it gave way to Futurism, Constructivism and Suprematism. But perhaps it should take a look further back to elements found in the designs of silversmith Ivan Semenovich Gubkin. Opening his Moscow factory in 1841, Gubkin would start his mid-size factory with 30 workers and increase that number to 88 in the next 20 years. It would take a little over a decade to get recognition, but it would come flooding in. He would participate in the All-Russian Industrial Exhibitions in St Petersburg, 1861, and Moscow, 1865. Abroad, he exhibited at the 1862 International Exhibition in London. In 1855, Ivan Semenovich received the imperial eagle mark, denoting an Imperial Warrant to supply the royal family and the court. It would be quite easy to mistake the feet that appeared on his 1856 tankard, the one appearing at Chiswick Auctions’ upcoming sale, as a modern construct. The triangular dovetailed pattern could have been produced by the Bauhaus seven decades later or even today after 163 years have passed. Good design is timeless. The tankard joins other top lots from around the world in this week’s picks.
Sale Date: March 12, 2019
Ivan Semenovich Gubkin, Alexander II Russian Parcel-Gilt Niello Silver Tankard
Moscow, 1856, 84 Zolotnik (875 standard). Of cylindrical form with ribbed decoration, raised on four peg feet. The body engraved with architectural scenes on the Imperial Castle of Petrovsko, the other possibly the Ostankino Palace, both reserved in niello strapwork against a matted ground, 5¾ inches high.
Sale Date: March 15, 2019
Important Folk Art Portrait Bust Of William Seward
Signed J. Bowers, 1861. Wood with an old painted surface. Joseph Bowers was a ship’s figurehead and trade figure carver from New York City.
Sale Date: March 14–15, 2019
KPM Presentation Vase For Empress Augusta (1811–1890)
Circa 1875–80, white glazed porcelain with a blue base and grisaille painting, the gilding partly etched. The front with a round portrait of the wife of Kaiser Wilhelm I, surrounded by an etched gold border and surmounted by the imperial crown amid laurel branches. The partially gilt eagle’s head handles are made of white bisque porcelain. Mounted on an octagonal porcelain pedestal, en suite decorated in blue and gold, 24¼ inches high.
Starting Bid: $8,500
Sale Date: March 14–16, 2019
Andreas Achenbach (1815–1910)
“Duesseldorf Storm at the pier of Ostende,” oil on canvas, 26 by 25½ inches. Signed and dated lower right “A Achenbach (18)81.”
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