A Bronze and Enamel Paperweight, 'Swan'
A Bronze and Enamel Paperweight, 'Swan'


A Bronze and Enamel Paperweight, 'Swan'
By Princess Maria Tenisheva, 1908
Of stylised swan form, enamelled in white, olive-green, dark pink, blue, orange, purple and black, marked with artist's cypher on the wing and on the base, stamped date on the base '1908' and numeral '2'
6 in. (15.5 cm.) long
The Estate of Princess Maria Tenisheva, Saint Cloud, France.
Exhibition catalogue, Salon de 1909, Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts, Paris, 1909, no. 2595.
N. K. Rerikh, Zakliatoe Zver'e, Niva, 1909, p. 338.
Exhibition catalogue, Enamel, Tapestries, Glass. Maria Tenisheva, Ory Robin, Zdenka Braunerova, Salon Topich, Prague, 1909, no. 2.
Exhibition Catalogue, Catalogue de dix-huitième exposition à Bruxelles, La Libre Esthétique, Brussels, March-April, 1911, p. 39, no. 172.
J. Oser, Princess Maria Tenisheva and Her World of Enamels, Moscow, 2004, illustrated pp. 41, 49; appendix 2, pp. 155-156, no. 33.
Paris, Grand Palais, Salon de 1909, Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts, April-June, 1909.
Prague, Salon Topich, Enamel, Tapestries, Glass. Maria Tenisheva, Ory Robin, Zdenka Braunerova, October-November, 1909.
Brussels, La Libre Esthétique, March-April, 1911.

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Alexis de Tiesenhausen
Alexis de Tiesenhausen

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Lot Essay

The present box is the embodiment of the artistic sensibilities of Tenisheva and Talashkino. It belongs to an unusual and highly original series of seven vari-coloured enamelled cast bronze animal figures created by Tenisheva in 1908 in a Paris workshop. The figures in the series are entitled Swan (the present lot), Fish, Pigeon, Cat, Pig, Owl, and Rooster. Six were designed as boxes and the present lot was distinctively formed as a paperweight. Each figure is marked with the initials 'MT' and a number. The entire series was exhibited in Paris and Prague in 1909 and four figures were shown in Brussels two years later. The figures were well-received by the public, so much so that the artist Nicholas Roerich published an article in the Russian art press, entitled Enchanted Animals (enamels of Princess M.K. Tenisheva), dedicated to the work of Tenisheva and these animal figures in particular (J. Oser, op. cit., pp. 86-92).

The Fish and Pigeon from this series of seven cast bronze and enamelled animal figures by Princess Maria Tenisheva were sold Christie's, London, 8 June 2010, lots 220 and 221, respectively.

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