An extremely rare Russian gilded silver & pictorial niello two-handled covered Imperial salt, Moscow, 1801. Of amphora form, the body nielloed on one side with a scene of a coronation, possibly a reference to that of Emperor Alexander I in 1801, the opposite side with a fête galante, the domed lid with emblems & allegorical figures in garland-bordered cartouches, the lid surmounted by a gilt Imperial eagle finial. The underside struck with the initials IV, almost certainlyfor Moscow silversmith Yakov Vitaliev, also with later scratched weight numbers. Height: 7 in. (17.8 cm). Weight: 325 grams.
There is a nearly identical piece among the presentation salt cellars in the collection of the Hermitage Museum (Inv. No. Э-4778). See the illustration in Tatyana Muntyan,Russian Silver of the Centuries 16th-Early 20th(Saint Petersburg, 2004), p. 118.
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