8 June 2011
BEGINNING OF THE 20TH CENTURY, BASMA STAMPED WITH MAKER'S MARK OF KUZMA KONOV, MOSCOW, 84 STANDARD.
27 by 22 cm.
Label: metal plaque on the reverse with dedicatory inscription "A blessing on Stepan Ivanovich Gromev of the 3rd Battery, Life-Guards Division. God save and protect you".
Literature: For similar works, see Ikonopis Epohi Romanovyh. Kollektsiya Viktora Bondarenko (Icon Painting of the Romanov's Dynasty. Collection of Viktor Bondarenko), Moscow, 2008, pp. 441-442, No. 271, 273.
Label: Metal plaque on the reverse with dedicatory inscription “A blessing on Stepan Ivanovich Gromov of the 3rd Battery, Life-Guards Division. God save and protect you”.
This icon is a brilliant, classic example of exquisite painting and jewellery harmoniously combined in the Art Nouveau style.
The oklad is by the master silversmith Kuzma Ivanovich Konov, one of the best known and most outstanding exponents of the jeweller’s art in the early 20th century. This was the heyday of Russian Art Nouveau, which united a renaissance of Old Russian art forms with a creative rethinking of European artistic styles.
The oklad encasing this icon has an inherent terseness, sense of style and beauty and is a striking example of the creative liaison between S.I. Vashkov, who led the artistic side of the famous jewellery firm Olovyanishnikov & Sons (suppliers to the Imperial Court) and the master silversmith K.I. Konov, who worked to his designs.
The icon was painted at the beginning of the 20th century in Moscow, probably by an icon painter originating from Palekh or Mstera. There is a direct resemblance between our icon’s oklad and those of the Mother of God of Iversk and St George the Victorious from the collection of V.A. Bondarenko, which once belonged to Macarius (Nevsky), Metropolitan of Moscow and the Grand Duke Georgiy Alexandrovich (Romanov) respectively.
This icon also has commemorative significance, as it was presented to S.I. Gromov, from the 3rd Battery of the Life-Guards Infantry Division. We may assume the recipient participated in the First World War and the icon was given at a time of difficulty to bless, protect and save him by those who served with him.
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.