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Made by: Unknown

Currently in storage

About this object

The Russian city of Kholmogory, located near the city of Archangel on the White Sea, thrived as a center of walrus ivory carving throughout the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. This distant town was famous not only for its boxes and caskets but also for its ivory combs, snuffboxes, and commemorative plaques. Because Kholmogory was situated so close to the warm-water port at Archangel, goods produced there were often influenced by western European prints and illustrated books that passed through the active trading center. Such prints could have influenced the appearance of the figures of men, women, and dogs seen on openwork panels across the top and around the sides of the box.

Box is in wood lined with a modern velvet and covered on the top and sides with carved and engraved panels of morvalrus ivory. Cover has six openwork panels, two panels in center each with a pair of dogs, two panels at left, one with a boy, other with a girl and two matching panels at right. These openwork panels are highlighted by the orange metal foil behind them Separating the openwork panels are plaques of various sizes that are decorated with incised ornament and dyed green and brown colors They are engraved with floral designs and scrolls. Front and back sides have each four openwork panels and the ends have three openwork panels each with a bird or running animal. Rest of background has small panels engraved with decorative motifs.

Object name:
Made from:
Walrus ivory -- wood -- foil
Made in:
RUSSIA: Kholmogory
Date made:
Mid 18th c.
15.2 × 31.1 × 41.3 cm (6 × 12 1/4 × 16 1/4 in.)

Detailed information for this item

Catalog number:
Signature marks:
LABEL on bottom The paper with inscription was applied on the bottom of the box much later and has nothing to do with the box. (It is an investigation report of finding various amount of vodka in the hidden places).
Credit line:
Bequest of Marjorie Merriweather Post, 1973
Featured in publication:
"A Taste for Splendor: Russian Imperial and European Treasures from the Hillwood Museum","The Art of the Russian North"