Description Set in the center of the charka is a gold ten-ruble coin faced with an enameled profile bust of Catherine II. On the reverse appears the date 1766 and a quatrefoil decoration showing in its center the double-headed eagle flanked by the coats of arms of Siberia (a pair of sables); Astrakhan (crown and sword); Moscow (St. George and the Dragon); and Kazan (winged dragon). Around the charka's top edge extends a pattern of blue scrolls and yellow circles in plique-à-jour enamel. Below, the decoration consists of foliage in red plique-à-jour enamel in a pierced gold background. Six cabochon sapphires are affixed to the border on the exterior. The Lesser State Emblem of the Russian Empire appears on the face of the handle, which is also in pierced, plique-à-jour enamel.
Provenance A la Vieille Russie, New York; Jean M. Riddell, Washington, D.C., November 7, 1977, by purchase; Walters Art Museum, 2010, by bequest.
Inscriptions On reverse of handle: [Conjoined City and Standard] in oval cartouche stamped "56" alongside cross, anchors, and grapple for St. Petersburg before 1889; [Jeweler] stamped AT (in Latin) for either Alexander Tillander or Alfred Thielemann; [Engraved] 158.0; [Scratched] BMMII.
Credit Bequest of Mrs. Jean M. Riddell, 2010
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