Large 1835 Moscow-made Sterling Silver Vodka Cup.
With a height of 55mm, the cup has a diameter across the top of 57mm and across the bottom of 40mm. It weighs 71.4 grams. There are a total of four hallmarks: one indicates Moscow as the point of origin and another 1835 as the year it was made. The initials of the assayer and the silversmith are also both present, although unfortunately illegible.
Very good to excellent condition. There are two or three minor dings along the lower edge of the cup but, while the niello work has been disturbed by the dings, there has been no significant damage to the inlay and any minor loss that has occurred is certainly not visible to the naked eye. ("Niello", of course, is a black metallic alloy of sulfur, copper, silver, and usually lead, used as an inlay on engraved metal - in this case silver - to create a dark and clear design, pattern, or picture.)
There are two circular panels showing pastoral scenes situated between two purely decorative sections exhibiting what are either cornucopia-like horns or baskets overflowing with leaves and flowers. One scene is a pastoral view of a shepherd, a shepherdess, and two sheep. The other scene is of a stylish young woman sitting in a chair in a field. While nothing about the clothing of the human figures indicates a specific time period, the overall impression is that of the 18th century.
In our opinion, this is a beautiful cup whose artwork was probably originally intended to appeal to customers in 1830's Russia who were nostalgic for the closing decades of the 18th Century (and perhaps the reign of Catherine the Great). Its ownership will give someone a wonderful opportunity to possess a extraordinarily well executed example of a once popular metalworking technique that has now nearly vanished.
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