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Made by: Aleksandr Petrovich Vershinin (Workmaster)

On view in: Russian Porcelain Room

About this object

The microscopic level of work required to assemble little bits of paper, straw, wood, moss, and lichen into tiny country scenes with a house, figures fishing, and a brook crossed by a bridge in between two layers of glass is truly a marvel. Most of the decoration was fastened to the inner wall before being covered with the outer wall of glass. Only thirteen double-walled beakers made by Vershinin, the talented serf and chief workmaster at the Bakhmetev Glassworks, are know. It was not unusual to find such highly trained serfs in Russia during the 1800s. They were often sent by their masters for training as artisans.

This faceted beaker of double-walled glass with thin fluting typical of the Bakhmetev Glassworks is decorated with an autumnal landscape. The central scene, locates opposite the initials, shows what appears to be a mill situated on an island in a small lake. A bridge connects the island to the mainland and fishermen holding fishing poles can be seen walking back and forth across the bridge. A second large building with glass windows stands on the mainland. It has a tower attached, suggesting that it may be a church. In the lake a fisherman standing in a small boat in which children (?) also stand, casts a net into the lake. Another man can be seen is a smaller boat in the background. Additional figures can be seen working along the edge of the lake and swans swim near the lake's edge. On the opposite side of the glass, most of the space is taken up with the floriated initials KM below a crown of the nobility. The initials, and the complex landscape on the opposite side, are framed with three-dimensional swags made of tiny dried flowers, tiny leaves, and vines. The upper most band section is decorated with a gilded oak leaf and acorn pattern that appears on several other glasses by Vershinin. It appears that the black background was cold painted and the colorant is flaking off and falling into the scene. The bottom is cut.

Object name:
Made from:
Glass -- gold -- paper -- straw -- wood -- moss -- lichen -- adhesive -- and paint
Made in:
Nikol'sk, Russia
Date made:
ca. 1815
5 1/8 × 3 1/16 in. (13 × 7.8 cm)

Detailed information for this item

Catalog number:
Signature marks:
initials KM In floriated gilt script inside glass. Initials are beneath a crown of a nobleman (dvorianskaia). It is not clear if the initials are Cyrillic or Roman.
Credit line:
Museum Purchase, 2003