C1920 Art Nouveau Russian Silver Spoon from Harbin, China

$95.00 Free postage within Australia.


This silver spoon is in the Art Nouveau style popular in Russia in the last years of the Empire. The arrow shaped handle joins an engraved  bowl. With the Revolution and ensuing civil war, many Russians fled along the railway line to Harbin, a Russian-built railway city on land leased from Imperial and then Nationalist China. There many emigres sold their bulkier treasures and bought newly made silver objects as portable wealth. Silversmiths formerly active throughout Russia, were emigres too. Much fine silver was produced in Harbin in the 1920s and early 1930s. Very few pieces carry a maker's mark. There being no government to hallmark the pieces, they were usually cast or stamped with a pseudo hallmark, comprising the lady wearing the kokoshnik, and the silver content, usually 84, in an oval cartouche, This mimicked the old Imperial hallmarks, but are sometimes cast in, and always lack the city mark. The mark on this spoon is illegible. It is almost certainly 84 standard silver (87.5%) and it is 15 cm long and weighs 16 grams.

It is an attractive souvenir of a turbulent and frightening age. The Great War swept away Imperial Russia, the German Empire, Ottoman Empire and Austria-Hungary.

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