Description & Technical information

Weight: 247.5g, the two-colour gold box with wavy line engine turned sides and cover ground, lemon gold lappet band rims, inset to the cover with a gold half-medal bust length portrait of the Empress facing left, dressed as Minerva with plumed helmet and scaled body armour, a Medusa maskhead necklace around her neck, rouched cape around her shoulders bearing the Imperial twin headed eagle, Cyrillic dedication around the edge, the base inset with the reverse half-medal bearing an allegorical scene alluding to the accession, with Katherine seated to the left accepting the crown and sceptre presented upon a cushion from a figure of Russia attended by St. George, an angel pointing upward to Providence dressed as Diana the Huntress in the clouds, the medal is dated 1762 and bears the Cyrillic legend: 'This is Your Salvation'.

History

This box is one of a limited edition of thirty commissioned for each of the surviving participants of the coup that put Catherine II on the throne in 1762. According to a written account in the Russian State Archives, dated 10th July 1774, the workshop of Jean Ador was asked to produce the boxes, for which he was paid from the private purse of the Empress. 
Diameter 8.3cm / 3�''


Date:  1774
Period:  18th century
Origin:  St. Petersburg
Medium: gold
Dimensions: 3.5 cm (1³/₈ inches)
Literature: An example is also illustrated in: 

'Eighteen Century Gold Boxes of Europe' by A. Kenneth Snowman, Antique Collector's Club, 1990 edition, plates 781 & 782, page 366.

Reference: 'Going for Gold. Craftsmanship and Collecting of Gold Boxes', edited by Tessa Murdoch and Heike Zech, Sussex Academic Press, GB 2014, pp.142-143. 

One of the boxes from the limited edition is illustrated twice in the above book plates 9.8 and 10.7.

Categories: Jewellery