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An antique Russiantrompel’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 & 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 & durable. It has been traditionally used to plait shoes (lapti), baskets, vessels, boxes, & toys. Nineteenth-century Russian silversmiths commemorated & honored this uniquely national folk art by crafting precious tea sets, cake baskets, & other items for festive tables in imitation of woven birch bark.
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