Count Feodor Petrovich Tolstoy (1783-1873) was one of the most fashionable artists in Russia during the 1820s. From 1810 onwards he worked at the St Petersburg Mint, and between 1814 and 1836 he created his most successful medallions, a series of twenty-four classical scenes commemorating the Napoleonic Wars of 1812-1814.
The popularity of Tolstoy’s medallions was so great that they were reproduced in porcelain, bronze and glass. These rare glass plates (Lots 331 and 332) by the Imperial Glass Factory depict two scenes from the series: The Escape of Napoleon across the Niemen River (1812) and Peace in Europe (1815). The first represents Napoleon crossing the Niemen River, which is depicted as an old man leaning on a vessel with water. Napoleon left his shield and sword behind, crossing the river in haste. Peace in Europe was one of the latest medallions from the series, created in 1836.
For comparable examples from the collection of the State Hermitage Museum, see T. Malinina, Imperial Glass Factory 18th - early 20th centuries, St Petersburg, 2009, pp. 186-187.