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Military Presentation Cup

Made by: Barbé, Johann Christian

On view in: Mansion Exhibit - Icon Room - Case 6 - Shelf 3


About this object

This gold military cup is typical of Russian neoclassicism in the 1830s. The handle of the cup's lid is carved in minute detail to resemble the plumed helmet (derived from a Roman model) of the Imperial Horse Guards. The helmet sits on a band of laurel leaves and berries, an emblem of victory. A band of oak leaves and acorns, symbolizing power, surrounds this, and a row of acanthus leaves encircles the rim of the lid. A cartouche on the front of the bowl encloses the inscription in Cyrillic: From the Officers of Her Majesty's Horse Guard Regiment to the General-Adjutant Count Stepan Fedorovich Apraksin, June 25, 1833. Count Apraksin took part in the Napoleonic campaigns and went on to a distinguished career for the crown. On 25 June 1833, the date inscribed on this piece, Apraksin was given command of the Cuirassier Division and was soon promoted to lieutenant general.

The finial on the cup's lid is carved in minute detail to resemble the plumed helmet of the Imperial Horse Guards. The helmet sits on a band of laurel leaves and berries, an emblem of victory. A band of oak leaves and acorns, symbolizing power, surrounds this, and a row of acanthus leaves encircles the rim of the lid. Details are rendered throughout in burnished gold against a matte ground to create striking visual contrasts. Bowl is round and has a liner in plain gold. On front of the bowl is a cartouche bordered by a rinceau of acanthus leaves behind which appear a ribbon and two crossed swords. Within the cartouche in raised Cyrillic capitals is an inscription "From the Officers of Her Majesty's Horse Guard Regiment to the General-Adjutant Count Stepan Fedorovich Apraksin, June 25, 1833." Adjoining the cartouche and continuing around the bowl are seven panels separated by palm branches and each with the star of the order of St. Andrew at the top and a list of names of members of the Guard engraved in Cyrillic script, the donors of the cup. Above the panels is a garland of laurel leaves and berries and at the rim are four clusters of acanthus leaves and branches each intertwined with a wreath of laurel leaves. A fluted stem with sculptural acanthus leaves at the top and bottom supports the cup, which sits on a plain base bordered by a row of stylized acanthus leaves. The cup was acquired in its original box.

Category:
GOLDWORK
Object name:
Ceremonial Container
Made from:
Gold
Made in:
RUSSIA: Saint Petersburg
Date made:
1834
Size:
H. 13 1/2 in., W. 7 3/4 in.
overall __34.29 CM __19.68 CM

Detailed information for this item

Catalog number:
11.42.1-3
Class:
GOLD
Signature marks:
INSCRIPTION; SIGNATURE; MARK __signed on base and underneath cover and in bottom: J.C. Barbé in Latin script; marked with crossed anchors and scepter of St. Petersburg inside bowl, underneath cover and under foot, 80 for gold standard, on rim: crossed anchors and scepter, 80, MK (for Mikhail Mikhailovich Karpinskii, active 1825-38)/1834
Credit line:
Bequest of Marjorie Merriweather Post, 1973
Displayed in exhibition:
The Style That Ruled the Empires: Russia, Napoleon and 1812, Hillwood Estate, Museum & Gardens, 2012
A Taste for Splendor: Russian Imperial and European Treasures from the Hillwood Museum. Organized by Hillwood Estate, Museum & Gardens, 1998-2000
Five Centuries of Russian Art, Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg, FL, Jan 12, 1995 - Jun 11, 1995
Featured in publication:
Odom, Anne and Liana Paredes Arend. A Taste for Splendor: Russian Imperial and European Treasures from the Hillwood Museum. Edited by Nancy Eickel. Alexandria, VA: Art Services International, 1998.
Odom, Anne and Liana Paredes Arend. A Taste for Splendor: Russian Imperial and European Treasures from the Hillwood Museum. Edited by Nancy Eickel. Alexandria, VA: Art Services International, 1998.