You are here

SNUFFBOX WITH A PORTRAIT OF FIELD MARSHAL ZAKHAR CHERNYSHEV

Back to the Collection

SNUFFBOX WITH A PORTRAIT OF FIELD MARSHAL ZAKHAR CHERNYSHEV

Made by: Georg Kuntzendorf

On view in: French Drawing Room


About this object

Most of the surface of the hinged oval snuffbox is decorated with dark blue transparent enamel over a guilloché ground and covered with small, six-pointed stars in white opaque enamel. Around the border of the top, the sides (top and bottom) and the underside is a dark blue ribbon intertwined in a meander pattern with a white, flowering vine against an engraved gold ground. On the lid, set within a gilt frame, is an oval, bust-length portrait in enamel of a man facing three-quarters to the left. The portrait in enamel is most likely Zakhar Grigor'evich Chernyshev (1722-1784), after a portrait by Alexander Roslin. His hair (or wig) is powdered white and arranged in two curls above each ear; the artist has given the subject deep blue eyes. He is dressed in a green uniform jacket with gold braid around the collar and around the shoulder where the sleeve begins. The row of gold embroidery around the shoulder shows that this is the uniform of a general-field marshal, but it appears that overpainting has obscured the two rows of wide and one row of narrow gold embroidery in the form of oak and laurel leaves that should have been visible on the uniform jacket. A small area of the red vest (kamzol) worn under the jacket in the original on which this portrait is based (see Notes) is just visible beneath the sitter’s officer’s scarf (ofitserskii sharf). He appears to be wearing a pale blue moiré vest (kamzol) under his jacket, although this is more likely a remnant of an overpainted sash of the Order of St. Andrew; there are clear signs of in-painting on the subject's face and the jacket was probably also repainted. On his jacket is the star (zvezda) of an order, apparently the Order of St. Andrew. A bowknot in silver is set at the top of the oval frame as if the portrait hangs from it. Beneath this in silver and four-color gold are a group of tools associated with masonic imagery, including compass, measure, globe, crossed quills, book, etc.

Category:
goldwork
Object name:
SNUFFBOX WITH A PORTRAIT OF FIELD MARSHAL ZAKHAR CHERNYSHEV
Made from:
Gold -- silver -- enamel -- four-color gold; miniature on copper (?)
Made in:
RUSSIA: Saint Petersburg
Date made:
1773
Size:
3.7 × 8.3 × 6.4 cm (1 7/16 × 3 1/4 × 2 1/2 in.)

Detailed information for this item

Catalog number:
11.33
Class:
GOLD
Signature marks:
Guild mark? [Cyrillic capital D on its side without a frame] Inside lid with city mark and maker's mark According to Solodkoff (p. 165), this is a guild mark for 1773. Assayer's mark [Crossed anchors and sceptre for St. Petersburg within an oval frame above the date 1773] Inside lid next to maker's mark and other marks. Maker's mark GK Inside lid next to city mark and other marks Latin initials within a rectangular frame. Metal purity or standard mark? 8 5 Inside lid next to city mark and other marks. The two numbers are struck separately within rectangular frames. Maker's mark GK Inside base of box with city mark and other marks. Latin initials within a rectangular frame. Assayer's mark [Crossed anchors and sceptre for St. Petersburg within an oval frame above the date 1773] Inside base Guild mark? [Cyrillic capital D on its side without a frame] Inside base. According to Solodkoff (p. 165), this is a guild mark for 1773. Metal purity or standard mark? 8 5 Inside base The two numbers are struck separately within rectangular frames. Maker's mark GK Inside interior wall of box near the hinge. Latin initials within a rectangular frame. Assayer's mark [Crossed anchors and sceptre for St. Petersburg within an oval frame above the date 1773] Inside interior wall of box near the hinge. Guild mark? [Cyrillic capital D on its side without a frame] Inside interior wall of box near the hinge. According to Solodkoff (p. 165), this is a guild mark for 1773. Metal purity or standard mark? 8 5 Inside interior wall of box near the hinge. The two numbers are struck separately within rectangular frames. Export mark [owl on its side] Struck twice on outside of interior sleeve, on right. French export mark after 1893.
Credit line:
Bequest of Marjorie Merriweather Post, 1973
Featured in publication:
"Russian Art at Hillwood","Russian Enamels: Kievan Rus to Fabergé","A Taste for Splendor: Russian Imperial and European Treasures from the Hillwood Museum"