A rare and historically important commemorative silver-gilt and enamel bas-relief of the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour in kiot Khlebnikov with Imperial Warrant, Moscow, 1908
Lot 98
A rare and historically important commemorative silver-gilt and enamel bas-relief of the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour in kiot
Khlebnikov with Imperial Warrant, Moscow, 1908
£800,000 - 1 million
US$ 1.4 million - 1.7 million
Auction Details
A rare and historically important commemorative silver-gilt and enamel bas-relief of the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour in kiot Khlebnikov with Imperial Warrant, Moscow, 1908 A rare and historically important commemorative silver-gilt and enamel bas-relief of the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour in kiot Khlebnikov with Imperial Warrant, Moscow, 1908 A rare and historically important commemorative silver-gilt and enamel bas-relief of the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour in kiot Khlebnikov with Imperial Warrant, Moscow, 1908 A rare and historically important commemorative silver-gilt and enamel bas-relief of the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour in kiot Khlebnikov with Imperial Warrant, Moscow, 1908 A rare and historically important commemorative silver-gilt and enamel bas-relief of the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour in kiot Khlebnikov with Imperial Warrant, Moscow, 1908 A rare and historically important commemorative silver-gilt and enamel bas-relief of the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour in kiot Khlebnikov with Imperial Warrant, Moscow, 1908 A rare and historically important commemorative silver-gilt and enamel bas-relief of the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour in kiot Khlebnikov with Imperial Warrant, Moscow, 1908 A rare and historically important commemorative silver-gilt and enamel bas-relief of the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour in kiot Khlebnikov with Imperial Warrant, Moscow, 1908 A rare and historically important commemorative silver-gilt and enamel bas-relief of the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour in kiot Khlebnikov with Imperial Warrant, Moscow, 1908
Lot Details
A rare and historically important commemorative silver-gilt and enamel bas-relief of the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour in kiot
Khlebnikov with Imperial Warrant, Moscow, 1908
the model of the cathedral's facade centred with enamel plaque of The Mother of God with Christ Emmanuel within arch enriched with The Troparion for the Nativity of Our Lord, God and Saviour, Jesus Christ in Cyrillic: 'Рождество Твое, Христе Боже наш / возсия мирови свет разума, / в нем бо звездам служащии / звездою учахуся / Тебе кланятися, Солнцу Правды, / и Тебе ведети с высоты Востока. / Господи, слава Тебе', flanked by further enamel miniatures of Princes Vladimir, Alexander Nevsky, Nicholas and Archangel Michael, the lower section with applied Cyrillic inscription: 'XXV consecration of the Cathedral 26th May 1883' and further dedication 'From the Management of the Moscow Cathedral of Christ the Saviour to the volunteer guards and standard-bearers of the Kremlin Cathedrals and the monasteries of the city of Moscow on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the consecration of the cathedral' ('Добровольной Охране и Хоругвеносцам Кремлевских Соборов и Монастырей города Москвы от управления московским кафедральным во имя Христа Спасителя собором в день двадцатипятилетия освящения храма'), the back cover engraved 'You, God, are my strength' ('Ты еси Боже крепость моя') and fitted with suspension hook, the relief fitted against blue velvet backing applied with consecration date: 'Освящен 26 мая 83'; housed in glass fronted wood kiot, 84 standard
44.9cm wide, 9.5cm deep, 55.2cm high (17 11/16" wide, 3 3/4" deep, 21 3/4" high)

Footnotes

  • PROVENANCE
    By repute purchased by present owner from a Russian princely family

    The choice of enamel plaques is highly evocative. The iconic image of the Mother of God with Christ Child was designed by Viktor Vasnetsov, which is also depicted in mosaic in the Cathedral of St Vladimir in Kiev and which measures 8 meters 87 centimetres high. A design for this is in the Tretiakov Gallery in Moscow, in chalk and oil on paper laid on cloth measuring 171 x 99cms with a presentation inscription to Pavel Tretiakov. She is flanked by Prince Vladimir as the Patron Saint of the serving General Governor of Moscow, Prince Vladimir Dolgorouky; Prince Alexander Nevsky and Saint Nicholas, the patrons of Tsars by that name and Archangel Michael for General Michael Kutuzov, hero of the War of 1812. According to supporting documentation from S. Kovarskaya, Senior Fellow at the Moscow Kremlin Museums and author of Masterpieces of the Moscow Jewellery Firm of Khlebnikov, Moscow, 2001, the workshops of Khlebnikov are known to have produced another bas-relief with similar associations created earlier in 1890 to commemorate Prince Vladimir Dolgorouky's 25th anniversary as Governor General of Moscow. The Prince headed the cathedral's building committee for 19 years and was intrinsically linked to the project (see illustration).

    Khlebnikov was a prominent silver and jewellery firm from St. Petersburg expanding to Moscow in 1870. Over the course of this decade, Khlebnikov became purveyor to Grand Duke Konstantin Nikolaevich (1872) and Grand Duke Vladimir Alexandrovich (1877) and finally to the Imperial Court adding the Imperial Warrant to the firm's hallmark from 1879. As well as supplying palaces with silver services, the firm crafted dozens of religious items for the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour.

    In 1812, Alexander I signed a manifesto ordering the construction of a Cathedral to commemorate Russia's victory over Napoleon's troupes. A projects was approved in 1832 by Nicholas I but the building was not completed in its present site near the Kremlin walls until 1881. The consecration took place in 1883 as Alexander III was being crowned. The enormous Byzantine-revival cathedral dominated the skyline and the interior was lavishly decorated with frieze and bas-relief façades and housed a great many religious objects by the firm of Khlebnikov. Running contrary to the ideology of the Soviet era, it was pulled down in 1931. Various plans were considered until swimming baths were built in the cathedral's foundations. As a lasting symbol of national honour and faith, the Cathedral was rebuilt in 2000 and once again dominates the Moscow skyline.
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