• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 5265

    Selected Silver & Russian Works of Art

    30 November 2007, London, South Kensington

  • Lot 256

    LITERARY INTEREST:- AN UNUSUAL EARLY 20TH CENTURY RUSSIAN SILVER PAPER KNIFE,

    MARK OF CHLEBNIKOV, 1908/17,

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    LITERARY INTEREST:- AN UNUSUAL EARLY 20TH CENTURY RUSSIAN SILVER PAPER KNIFE,
    MARK OF CHLEBNIKOV, 1908/17,
    Terminating in a portait of Leo Tolstoy with flowing beard, 9¼ in. long (23.5 cm.), 4 oz.


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    Post Lot Text

    Count Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910), the Russian author & philosopher, best known for his novel "War and Peace" (1865-69) published in 6 volumes, served in the army during the Crimean War & was present at the siege of Sebastopol. In 1878 his novel "Anna Karenina" was published & "Hadji Murad" was written between 1896-1904. Many of his books & articles were highly critical of both the government & the Church & he was eventually excommunicated from the Russian Orthodox Church. Nevertheless, he enjoyed an enormous following but was plagued by self-doubt throughout his life. He embraced the pacifist doctrine of non-resistance & gave up meat, tobacco & alcohol, giving support to the Doukhobors, a persecuted Christian sect who emigrated en masse to Canada in 1899 & enjoying a correspondence & friendship with Mahatma Gandhi. He died of pneumonia, having alienated all of his family except his youngest daughter, Alexandra, & by the time of his death had renounced his ancestral claim to his estate & worldly goods.