Exceptional Multi-gemstone Intarsia box by Nicolai Medvedev

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Lot 3142
Exceptional Multi-gemstone Intarsia box by Nicolai Medvedev

US$ 15,000 - 20,000
£ 12,000 - 16,000
Exceptional Multi-gemstone Intarsia box by Nicolai Medvedev
Circa 1990
Retailed by E.F. Watermelon
Old Lyme, Connecticut

A labor-intensive form of lapidary art that flourished in western Europe during the 18th century intarsia work was revived in this country through the work of Nicolai Medvedev. The present box is exemplary of such museum-quality work, and is inlaid with two large rhodochrosite cross-section slices each with a central bull's eye as well as turquoise, opal, malachite, lapis lazuli, California gold-in-quartz and sugilite. The hinged lid opening to reveal an inlaid picture stone of Kalahari jasper with 18k yellow gold fittings. This is a noteworthy example of American lapidary art sure to form the center of any serious collection. Measuring 5 1/2 x 4 x 3 1/2 in

Footnotes

  • Nicolai Medvedev
    Beginning his formal art training at the age of twelve, Medvedev continued for fourteen years, including several years of impressionist painting at the prestigious Art Institute of Moscow. An interest in central Asian jewelry, with its inlays and gemstone overlays, and the Faberge-style craftsmanship he discovered at the Hermitage in St. Petersburg led him to try his hand at intarsia. Since immigrating to the United States in 1980, he has focused entirely on intarsia, developing a unique approach. He is now widely considered to be one of the world's premier intarsia artists.

    Born and raised in Ashkhabad, Turkmenia, a Russian city near Iran, the handicrafts and architecture of the region had the greatest influence on his designs. Whether creating delicate pendants or magnificent boxes lined with exotic woods, Medvedev demonstrates an unrivaled degree of perfection in his work. He is noted for his dramatic juxtaposition of color and form which produces breathtaking results and evokes memories of Central Asia.

    Because intarsia involves such a high degree of intricacy and is created on such a small scale, the amount of concentration and time involved in producing one piece is incredible. Though usually working on several pieces at once, Medvedev averages a few months of work on a smaller box while a larger box may take him up to two years to complete.

    Medvedev's art has been displayed extensively, including exhibits at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pittsburgh, the Lizzadro Museum of Lapidary Art in Chicago, and the Gems and Minerals Hall of the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C. His talent and work is recognized by collectors worldwide and his beautiful objects can be found in private collections including those of several royal families. In 1991 he won first place in the category "Objects of Art" in the American Gem Trade Association's prestigious "Cutting Edge" Competition. He has been featured in numerous international publications including articles in Lapidary Journal, Rock and Gem, and Gems and Gemology.

Contacts
Exceptional Multi-gemstone Intarsia box by Nicolai Medvedev
Exceptional Multi-gemstone Intarsia box by Nicolai Medvedev
Exceptional Multi-gemstone Intarsia box by Nicolai Medvedev
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