A Russian silver, parcel gilt, and en plein enamel cigarette case, Moscow, 1893. Of rectangular form with rounded corners, the hinged lid decorated with a scene from Mikhail Lermontov’s poem “The Demon” after Mihàly Zichy’s circa 1881 illustrations. Struck with unidentified maker’s mark V.A (Cyrillic) of an unidentified silversmith, possibly Akimov, and 84 standard. Dimensions: 3 3/4 in. x 3 in. (9.5 x 7.6 cm).
Mihàly Zichy (1827-1906), a favorite painter of Emperor Alexander II, who named him a Court Artist, depicts a passage from Lermontov’s poem “The Demon.” The Romantic work inspired many important 19th-century Russian artists, or artists working in Russia. One of Mikhail Vrubel’s greatest masterpieces, Demon Seated (1890, Tretyakov Gallery), was part of a larger cycle dedicated to the work. Like Zichy, Konstantin Makovsky (1839-1915), one of the most popular artists of Late Imperial Russia, also illustrated a number of the poem’s most important passages. Many of these images were produced for or inspired by luxury jubilee editions of the poem printed in 1891.
For additional information about this piece, please contact us.