Art/ Collection/ Collection/ Art Object
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Pair of bases and candleholders (part of a set)

Maker:
Johann Bernhard Hertz (Hentz) (master 1834–1855)
Date:
1848–49
Culture:
Russian, St. Petersburg
Medium:
Silver, felt
Dimensions:
a) 1/4 x 2 1/2 x 3 7/16 in. (0.6 x 6.4 x 8.7 cm); b) 2 x 1 9/16 x 2 1/4 in. (5.1 x 4 x 5.7 cm)
Classification:
Metalwork-Silver In Combination
Credit Line:
Gift of Ralph McAllister Ingersoll, 1968
Accession Number:
68.33.6a, b, .7a, b
Not on view
The firm of Nicholls & Plincke was founded by members of the relatively large community of English silversmiths and craftsmen working in Saint Petersburg. After 1840 it was one of the most important retailers of luxury items before Carl Fabergé overshadowed all competitors. Several contemporary Saint Petersburg newspapers praised the high-quality products of the magasin anglais Nicholls & Plincke.

According to the donor's family tradition, this rare set with more than fifty items bearing the monogram CMI was "originally made for and used by Colin Macrae Ingersoll [1819–1903], when he accompanied his father, Ralph Isaacs Ingersoll [1788–1872], to the Court of Czar Alexander II of Russia, where the latter served President [James Knox] Polk [1795–1849] as Minister Plenipotentiary from 1846 to 1848. . . . The family story has always been that [the set and case were] made for stagecoach travel in Russia."

Plain silver objects—like the ewer and the cup of this set—with simple outlines and restrained forms inspired silversmiths of the modern era. Only the elaborate cartouche framing the monogram indicates that the set was made in the early Victorian period.
Inscription: Monogram at one end of top: CMI

Marking: At rear of top of bases .6a, .7a:
[1] Д•T, in rectangular shield, 1849, in rectangular shield, partially effaced (assay master's mark, Dimitri Ilyich Tverskoi, master 1834–50)
[2] I•B•H•, in oval shield (maker's mark, Johann Bernhard Hertz [Hentz], master 1834–55)
[3] 84, in rectangular shield (quality mark)
[4] town mark of St. Petersburg, 1818–61

Near center hole of bases:
[.6a] 5
[.7a] 6

Top rear of cylinder of candle holders .6b, .7b:
[1] town mark of St. Petersburg, 1818–61
[2] I•B•H•, in oval shield (maker's mark, Johann Bernhard Hertz [Hentz], master 1834–55)
[3] 84, in rectangular shield (quality mark)

Top rear of cylinder of candle holders:
[.6b] 5
[.7b] 6
Colin Macrae Ingersoll ; Colin Macrae Ingersoll ; Ralph McAllister Ingersoll (until 1968)
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