Gift of Audrey Love, in memory of C. Ruxton Love Jr., 1978
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 553
The cruets formed part of an extensive silver service acquired in 1817 by the Russian nobleman Count Nicholas Demidoff (1773–1828), scion of a family of art collectors who amassed their wealth through an industrial and mining empire based in the Ural Mountains. As recently as 1835 the discovery on their estate of rich seams of malachite prodigiously added to the luxury and display at their extravagantly furnished residences and villas in Saint Petersburg and Paris as well as at the Villa San Donato near Florence. One of the masterpieces at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Demidoff Malachite Vase made in 1817 in Paris by Pierre-Philippe Thomire (1751–1834), was originally displayed in the Malachite Salon at San Donato (44.152a, b) as was the Demidoff Table made in 1845 by Lorenzo Bartolini (03.11a–d).
The applied coat of arms on the stands is that of Alfred de la Chapelle (1830–1914) and was added after the service was acquired by the de la Chapelle family between 1859 and 1867.
Inscription: Monogram at base of each armorial plaque
Marking:  J B C O, a bellows, in a vertical lozenge (maker's mark of Odiot)  Cock and numeral 1, in horizontal octagon (Paris mark for first standard silver, 1809–19)  Fasces (Paris restricted warranty mark for silver, 1809–19)  Head of Minerva, in circle (Paris medium excise mark for silver, 1809–19)  C.F.H. in rectangle (maker's mark)  Lower case gothic h in polygonal reserve (London date letter for 1863–64)  Queen's head (London duty mark)
Location of marks:  inside bottom of .1b, c  on front edge of platform, and below top rim of column  on one wing of each sphinx except that at right back corner, on one wing of each lion, on one wing of swan, in foliage of .1b, c, and on applied frieze on stand  at top of Leda's drapery, on lower rim of stand at back, on base rim of one large well - on back of each armorial plaque
Count Nicholas Demidoff (from 1817–18) ; [ sale, The Anderson Galleries , New York, December 15, 1928, nos. 29-30; each sold for $700 ] ; Audrey B. Love (until 1978; to MMA)