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A LOUIS XVI SILVER DISH-COVER AND A RUSSIAN SILVER DISH
A LOUIS XVI SILVER DISH-COVER AND A RUSSIAN SILVER DISH

THE COVER WITH MARK OF ROBERT-JOSEPH AUGUSTE, PARIS, 1777, THE DISH ST. PETERSBURG, 1799, MAKER'S MARK POSSIBLY THAT OF JOHANN JACOB ECKERT, ASSAY MASTER'S MARK OF ALEXANDER YAKSHINOV

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A LOUIS XVI SILVER DISH-COVER AND A RUSSIAN SILVER DISH
THE COVER WITH MARK OF ROBERT-JOSEPH AUGUSTE, PARIS, 1777, THE DISH ST. PETERSBURG, 1799, MAKER'S MARK POSSIBLY THAT OF JOHANN JACOB ECKERT, ASSAY MASTER'S MARK OF ALEXANDER YAKSHINOV
The domed cover shaped circular, chased with panels of fluting between a gadrooned and beaded border, with pomegranate and foliage finial, the dish circular and with reeded rim, the covers marked inside, the border marked with the décharge for export of Jean Baptiste Fouache, the dish marked on rim
The dish 18 in. (46.5 cm.) diameter
159 oz. 17 dwt. (4,971 gr.) (2)
Provenance
Almost certainly ordered on behalf of Catherine the Great, Empress of Russia (r.1762-1796) for use in the Governor's palace in Ekaterinoslav.
Recalled to St. Petersburg by her successor Paul I (r.1796-1801).
Presumably sold by the Soviet Government, circa 1930.
Anonymous sale; Christie's, Geneva, 13 May 1986, lot 89.

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Lot Essay

THE EKATERINOSLAV SERVICE
The Ekaterinoslav Service, from which the Riahi dish and cover almost certainly originate, is just one of many services which Baron A. de Foelkersam records in his Inventaire de l'Argenterie conservé dans les garde-meubles des Palais Impériaux, published in St. Petersburg in 1907. In his Inventaire are listed two large dishes which weigh a total of 14 funts 40 zolotniks (which converts as 2,941 grams each). Foelkersam goes on to note that Catherine the Great's secretary A.V. Khrapovitskii mentions in his diary, edited and published by N. Barsukov in 1874, 13 services, among them ones for Ekaterinoslav, Nizhnyi Novgorod, Kazan, Moscow, Iaroslavl, Tula, St. Petersburg, Perm, Riga, Tver and Kharkov. These services carried out the dual purpose of displaying Catherine the Great's power, authority and wealth, while also, according to Foelkersam, avoiding the expense and risk of shipping extensive silver services for her use during her travels around Russia.

While several of the services were ordered from Paris, such as the present example, others were ordered from London and Augsburg, and most were added to by Russian silversmiths. The French services would have been of the highest grade of silver and as such would have been the most expensive, while the services made in Augsburg would have been cheaper, as the standard of the metal used there was lower than that used in Paris or London. Other pieces are known from the Ekaterinoslav service by differing makers, such as an oval dish by Louis-Joseph Lenhendrick (sold Christie's, Paris, 14 December 2004, lot 387). It can be assumed that the service was made under the direction of a single retailer who had been given the commission by the Russian court on behalf of Catherine the Great. A cover of identical design is in the collection of the Winter Palace, St. Petersburg (B. Kommer, Zirbelnuss und Zarenadler, Augsburger Silber für Katharina II von Russland, Munich, 1997, p. 75, fig. 25).

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