A Russian Antique 84 probe silver Icon of the Mother of God. 18th century
This is Russian antique 84 probe silver icon 18 century. The Virgin Mary looks out on to the viewer and tenderly holds the Christ Child in her arms, their silver vestments are ornately decorated with engraved flowers.
The Russian standard for silver was based on ' zolotnik '-the weight of a gold coin circulated as late as 11th century in Kievan Rus. The name comes from 'zoloto' meaning gold. Originally, a zolotnik represented a 1/96 of a pound, later 1/72 of a pound. In the metric system, one zolotnik equals 4,266 grams, 96 zolotniks equal one Russian pound. Converting the Russian marks to sterling values, we obtain the following comparisons in silver purity degree: 84 zol. = 875/1000. On the icon, next to the silver probe, you can see two capital letters: ЯМ – which means initials of a silversmith. No exact name is known.
The Large colored crown above head of The Virgin Mary is decorated with cloisonne enamel. Reflecting upon the meaning of enamel in the context of the liturgical arts of the Holy Orthodox Church, and in particular cloisonné enamel, something of the spirit of monasticism in both the making processes and finished result can be discerned. The cloisonné technique involves a number of stages. Firstly, the metal object upon which the cloisonné is to be placed must be prepared, usually by creating within it a recess within which the enamelwork will sit. The recess can be made using repoussé and chasing, stamping, or with the champlevé method in which a recess is either carved out of the metal surface or etched out in an appropriate acid bath. Often with the stamping or repoussé method the main depression was also pricked with minute indentations in order that the enamel should adhere better. Every aspect of the process of creating a cloisonné enamel icon requires the iconographer to be highly meticulous and contemplative, requiring much focused silent concentration and devotion. The icon itself was painted in oil on a zinc plate and the figures of Mother of God and Christ Child are covered with silver attires.
Very rare and beautiful old piece of art!
|Name:||ICON OF THE MOTHER OF GOD|
|Completion Date:||18th century|
|Material:||84 probe silver, wood frame, oil on a zinc plate|
|Measurements:||31 x 27 cm|