Mesmerising silver-gilt and enamel tankard leads Russian art and antiques sale

Russian art and antiques have been coming into their own in recent years as the number of Russian collectors and investors with substantial disposable income increases. Sotheby's, Christie's and Bonhams have all had great successes and MacDougall's auction house has been set up in London to exclusively manage Russian art sales.

So this evening's auction themed on Russian Art, Fabergé & Icons in Germany will be watched with great interest by collectors around the world, as there are some exquisite pieces on offer.

A great range of fine collectibles are on offer including Russian decorative art, including some contemporary works, porcelain, glass pieces and paintings.

The two categories which are perhaps the most exciting however are the icons and silverware which we'll take a look at in turn:

Firstly a monumental icon from an iconostasis showing the Holy Martyrs Florus and Laurus. In the symmetrically composed scene, St. Michael is depicted with outstretched wings with Saints Florus and Laurus at his sides with their hands extended in prayer.

Florus and Laurus icon
Icon depicting Saints Michael, Florus and Laurus

The twin brothers Florus and Laurus, who worked as masons and builders, were especially venerated as the "horsemen" saints, and the work reflects specific features of the celebration of the martyrs' feast day on 18 August, named the "horses' holy day".

The c1700 piece is expected to sell for €18,000.

Expected to be the most valuable piece from the section is a tempora on woodicon of All Saints. The saints are composed of several groups that are arranged in a structured pattern.

The upper row shows the New Testament Trinity in the centre within a ring comprised of blue faced Seraphim. On each corner of the circle are the symbols of the Four Evangelists and to the left and right of the circle are the Mother of God and John the Baptist.

Dating from Russia in the 18th century, the beautiful work is listed at €30,000.

The most exciting piece of silverware is an important silver-gilt and cloisonné enamel tankard. The fascinating piece is cylindrical with a finial in form of the double-headed eagle on the hinged and partially domed lid.

Russian silverware tankard
Russian silverware tankard
(Click to enlarge)

Decorated with stylized flower and foliate borders and geometric band, it also bears the master's mark "P. OVCHINNIKOV" in Cyrillic, reflecting its creation by Pawel Akimow Owtschinnikowin 1894. It is estimated at €40,000 - but we think it is likely to sell for more, and be a great investment for the future.

The auction takes place at Dr Fischer's auction house in Heilbronn in Germany at 5pm today, local time.


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