This exquisite Russian Imperial era silver-gilt and shaded cloisonne enamel jeweled bowl (bratina) was made in Moscow in the 1890s by Nicholas Alexeev.
Height 3 1/2 in. (9 cm). Diameter 5 in. (12.8 cm).
Weight 396 grams (14 oz).
The lobed body is enameled with stylized corals and floral designs and embellished with cabochon cut chrysoprases and faceted garnets.
This piece is significantly bigger and heavier than other known Alexeev bowls (bratinas).
Bratina – is a traditional Russian medieval drinking vessel of tsars and boyars (pre-1700 court aristocracy).
In the late 19th-early 20th centuries there was a revival of interest in old Russian shapes and decorative motifs. Moscow silversmiths followed the trend and produced various silver objects in the 17th century taste with or without enamel, sometimes decorated with cabochon cut semi-precious stones. In the 17th century, enamel was extensively used to enrich silver bratinas, kovshes (boat shaped bowls with one handle), stopas (beakers), icons, etc. The later Moscow silversmiths developed new highly elaborate designs (based on 17th century prototypes) which by far surpassed the originals. The majority of enameled objects from the later period served purely decorative purposes and were often intended as presentation pieces.
Marked under the base with workmaster’s initials ‘HA’, 84 zolotnik silver standard (.875 silver), and a later Soviet control mark.