Based on the inventory number, the present kovsh was made in 1900 and serves as an early example of neo-Russian design and Fabergé's experimental approach to new materials.
Fabergé started working closely with the Imperial Stroganov School in 1900, when the workshop won a gold medal at the Paris exhibition in Moscow for its famous experimental ceramics. Artists at the Imperial Stroganov School innovated new glazes that often imitated other materials such as metal or gemstones, and were characterised by brown and violet tones, such as can be seen on the present lot. Students from the Imperial Stoganov School trained at the Moscow branch, and if they qualified as professors could increase their earnings by working on special commissions or creating their own designs and models for the firm. Lustre-glazed earthenware vases and kovshi, like the present lot, are among the workshop's most prominent pieces and exemplify the collaborative work of the Imperial Stroganov School, under the direction of Georgy Monakhov, and Fabergé's Moscow branch.
We are grateful to Valentin Skurlov for helping research the present lot.