An antique Russian trompe l’oeil parcel gilt silver sugar basket, Vasilii Osipov Ivanov, St. Petersburg, circa 1904-1908. In the Russian style (Russkii stil’), the square sugar basket minutely chased in imitation of peasant woven birch bark vessels, with twisted swing handle, the interior gilded. Struck with maker’s mark and 84 silver standard (equivalent to 875). Dimensions: 4 1/2″ x 4 1/4″ (11.4 cm x 10.7 cm).
Beresta, the upper layer of bark of the birch tree, is lightweight and durable. It has been traditionally used to plait shoes (lapti), baskets, vessels, boxes, and toys. Nineteenth-century Russian silversmiths commemorated and honored this uniquely national folk art by crafting precious tea sets, cake baskets, and other items for festive tables in imitation of woven birch bark.
For additional information about this piece, please contact us.