The design of this splendid chimneypiece is based on the Tula chimneypiece in the Victoria & Albert Museum, London (M. Campbell, Decorative Ironwork, London, 1997, p. 74, fig 115), which is a fine example of ornamental 'Tulaware', named after the Imperial Arms factory which was founded at Tula by Peter the Great in 1712. The Imperial armoury became the centre of the Russian arms production and supplied weapons to the Russian forces during the war against Sweden. However, by about 1730 not only military hunting weapons but also decorative objects including caskets, folding chairs and tables were being made with the techniques associated with gun-making like chasing, blueing and overlay. During the reign of Empress Catherine II a new technique was perfected by which metal was cut and polished in facets like diamonds, often combined with silver inlays and ormolu mounts see A. Chenevière, Russian Furniture, The Golden Age 1780-1840, London, 1988, pp. 245-246).