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Silver gilt, opaque cloisonné enamel
Overall: 13.4 x 3.4 cm (5 1/4 x 1 5/16 in.)
The India Early Minshall Collection 1966.500.10
These sugar tongs are part of a larger tea service.
Fabergé’s craftsmen in Moscow, especially under the watchful eye of workmaster Feodor Rückert, became known for their work in the pan-Slavic or neo-Russian style, hearkening back to 17th-century motifs of Russian folk art. Often on rather conventional shapes, Rückert and his silversmiths created an explosion of color, achieved through the historic technique of cloisonné enamel in which tiny metal lines are soldered to the surface then filled with glass powders in various colors and fired to create a high gloss finish. The result is a spectacular evocation of the 17th-century originals. Far from mere copies, however, Rückert's designs, such as this tea service, employ naturalistic or abstract motifs in a thoroughly modern adaptation of a remarkable earlier period of Russian art and decoration.
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