Troika paperweight

Troika paperweight - фото, ракурс 1
Troika paperweight - фото, ракурс 2
Troika paperweight - фото, ракурс 3

19th-century small-scale silver sculpture was characterized by its superb casting technique, incusing and the wide range subject matter through which the principles of realist art, solidified in the second half of that century, could be expressed. Individual figures or sculptural groups cast from silver, meticulously incused and set on silver or stone pedestals, were made above all for decorative purposes. The Sazikov Firm was among the first to take up silver sculpture in the mid-19th century and their works were not only highly valued by their contemporaries, but also haven’t lost their significance even today. A characteristic trait of the firm’s earlier output is the presence of separate sculptural decorations.


Having started out in silverwork with small, sculptural details, the Sazonov Firm gradually shifted to sculptural figures and groups. These sculptural groups are noteworthy for their dynamic movement and the technical virtuosity of each minute detail.


At the very first World’s Fair, held in London in 1851, Ignaty Sazikov, the son of the firm’s founder and an accomplished jeweler in the mid-19th century, presented a collection of 19 items decorated with scenes from peasant life, a completely new phenomenon for such an expensive and elite art form. The firm regularly received awards at all the Russian and international exhibitions it participated in for its high-quality works, among them a gold medal at the above-mentioned World’s Fair. In 1857, the firm received the title of Supplier to the Imperial Court.


Simple, varied in their subject matter and true to life, these images decorated silver goblets, creamers, pitchers and paperweights.


For the high quality of his incusing work, the press called Sazikov the Russian Benvenuto Cellini, noting that nearly everything he made was Russian: the idea, the design and the model. He was the first to give his works a national character. Connoisseurs had not expected to find in Russia a “noteworthy manufacturer who embodies the union of art and industry.”

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