1 December 2010
END OF THE 19TH CENTURY, MAKER'S MARK SG IN CYRILLIC, MOSCOW
30.8 by 26.7 cm
The Christ Pantocrator with his right hand raised in the sign of benediction and holding open the Gospels in his left is the most widespread image in icon painting of 19th and early 20th centuries. This icon of the Saviour is wreathed in a beaten silver-gilt oklad. The skilful and artistic elaboration of the background is surrounded by a wide frame chased with a plant pattern. The enamel halo of the icon and corner plaques tend towards the Russian style sought after by Old Believers from the wealthy merchant class. An unusual aspect of the oklad is the strip around the edge of the icon’s frame, which is applied as narrow enamelled beading and repeated as a mirror image reflection, in narrower beading on the chamfer dividing the borders from the icon. The text of the Gospel in dark blue champlevé enamel and the page edges framed by a strip of pale blue enamel completes the enamelled element in the oklad’s decoration, lending it integrity and finality. The delicate raiment of Christ is original in the way it is artistically resolved. The outer garment of thinly interwoven straight, not twisted, silver thread lies alongside the densely interlaced filigree on the sleeves and collar of the chiton. They are united by rows of threaded "pearls" suggesting the folds and patterning of the fabric. The fine state of the gilding and the "pearl" stitchwork is explained by the reverence and care with which the icon has been treated.
Notes on symbols:
* Indicates 5% Import Duty Charge applies.
Ω Indicates 20% Import Duty Charge applies.
§ Indicates Artist's Resale Right applies.
† Indicates Standard VAT scheme applies, and the rate of 20% VAT will be charged on both hammer price and premium.