Russian Silver champlevé enamel Tea Caddy by Ovchinnikov

Russian silver champlevé enamel Tea Caddy by Ovchinnikov

Champlevé and painted enamel.
Tea’s origins in the Far East account for so many caddies being decorated in the chinoiserie style. What makes this work so exceptional is the disposition of the colorfully painted figures within the champlevé cavities over the expansive gilt surfaces.
On the lid’s sliding cover, an enthroned figure, perhaps an empress, is receiving a princess. The accessories in this scene are limited to a Persian carpet and to the curtains which have been drawn aside to reveal a large screen of Russian malachite on which is carved an exotic Chinese phoenix. Similar birds in sumptuous colors are set in the corners of the lid.
On the front and back of the caddy, figures carry shrines while on the ends a boy assists a man with his opium pipe and a servant girl attends a woman. The sources for these vignettes have not been determined.
Made in 1878.
H: 4 3/8 x W: 6 9/16 x D: 4 1/2 in. (11.09 x 16.68 x 11.43 cm)

Русское Серебро и Фаберже