Russian Silver in America: Surviving the Melting Pot

Russian Silver in America: Surviving the Melting Pot

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The Russian silver collection at Hillwood Estate, Museum & Gardens is the largest and most comprehensive outside of Russia. Curator Emerita Anne Odom provides a cultural, political, and historical context in which to view this fascinating collection. Russian Silver in America surveys Russian silver production and its changing forms, styles, imagery, and techniques over more than 250 years.

Drawing on the collections of both Hillwood and other museums in the United States, the book features color plates of over 160 pieces: presentation gifts, commemorative and liturgical objects, and pieces made for the court and growing merchant class, including drinking vessels, tea, and coffee services, and chalices used by the former imperial family.

Anne Odom charts the history of Russian silver through the baroque styles of the reigns of Peter and Elizabeth, the move to Rococo and Neoclassicism under Catherine and Paul, revivalist styles under Alexander I and Nicholas I, 19th-century styles up to Fabergé, modernist production, and the fate of Russian silver after the Revolution. Running throughout is the fascinating story of how and why so much Russian silver found its way into American collections—much of it sold by the Soviet government in the 1920s and 30s as it was considered to be of no artistic value. These sales mean that much of the extant Russian silver produced after 1835 is now housed in America.

Hardcover or paperback

232 pages

Measurements: 9 x 11 inches

Published by Giles in 2011