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Library Art objects in Tin made by Russian craftsmen


 
Reproductions of art objects in tin made by Russian craftsmen are here published for the first time. The Hermitage possesses over 500 samples of articles in tin which date back to the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. This collection is one of the largest in the Soviet Union. Tin, a beautiful metal, silver-white in colour, inexpensive and easy to work with, was widely used by Russian craftsmen for making various presentation objects, domestic utensils and ornaments, and church plates. Dedicatory inscriptions in high style were engraved on beautiful large serving dishes and on the outer surface of wine glasses and ecclesiastic vessels. Craftsmen liked to combine intricate inscriptions with either simple, scale-shaped ornamentation or magnificent vegetative designs, heraldic emblems and monograms.
 
Seventeenth century art objects in tin were usually decorated with applied open-work ornaments in low relief. Frequently the applied ornaments were complex in form and sometimes they were gilded or silvered. Tin together with coloured mica and glass was also used to decorate mirrors, caskets, lanterns and window lattices, which gave the finished articles an elegant appearance. In addition to art objects made from tin, characteristic of the seventeenth century, in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries there appeared tankards and goblets. They were adorned with engraved designs based on themes largely borrowed from the Book of Symbols and Emblems (Symbola et Emblemata); however, the craftsmen often would improvise and suggest their own interpretation of the borrowed themes. As a rule, each design had an oval frame and the remaining surface of the vessel was covered with whimsical ornaments consisting of fantastic plants, flowers, fruit, and acanthus leaves. These designs were nielloed, which beautifully offset the silverish outer surface of the object itself. Household items in tin were greatly in demand intil the first half of the nineteenth century, when they came to be replaced by faience ware.
 
Art objects in tin represent one of the most original and not yet thoroughly studied branches of Russian applied art.

Art objects in Tin made by Russian craftsmen

introduction
box
decorative ornaments
serving plate
wine glass
pepper shaker
tankard
presentation plate
wine glass
wine glasses
chalice
ink well
wine glass and bowl with a lid
flask and bowl
wine glass
candlestick
mirror
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