1 December 2010
END OF THE 19TH TO BEGINNING OF THE 20TH CENTURY, OIL ON PANEL, MAKER'S MARK OF SERGEI ZHAROV IN CYRILLIC, MOSCOW
OIL ON PANEL, 31.1 by 27.3cm
The Saviour Pantocrator in a silver oklad with enamel is a typical example of the long-standing traditions in Moscow of bringing jewellery skills to the creation of works of art. The combination of silvering and gilding lends the oklad depth and contrast. The diversity of approach in terms of the jeweller’s art on different areas of the riza comes together in a common rhythm and design to form an integrated and harmonious picture. The design on the Saviour’s himation, alternating between a polished and matt surface, give the folds of the garment body and vibrancy. The tooled pattern on the background does not clash with the chased design of the borders. The polished plant forms that decorate the borders lie on a matt pointillé base, which generates volume and precision. The finely engraved work on the figured chamfer is offset by the contrasting relief of the edging around the perimeter of the icon. The oklad is decorated with enamelled plaques bearing the name of Jesus, the name of the icon, and the gospel book. These parts of the riza are rendered using champlevé enamel technique on a base of silver. The piece’s genuinely festive appearance is imparted by the multicoloured enamel of the corners and halo. The tastefully chosen soft pastel colours harmonise with the overall decoration of the oklad and lend the icon a highly artistic quality.
The jewellers’ workshops of Moscow produced icons of this kind to order for the cultured and comfortably off social strata in the major cities, and were very expensive.
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.