This set is such a rare find as it is complete. It is a samovar tea set comprising six cups and holders plus a “Candy Bowl” (though perhaps for finger water or sugar). This is a very traditional Russian style, although similar to Persian designs, from the village of Kubachi in Dagestan -nestled in the Caucus mountains. This village/region has a tradition of silver work going back centuries and pieces from this area have been hand crafted for royalty and the public alike.
These sets are also a bit of a tradition for the Russian people and highly sought after, though generally the glass inserts are missing and full sets are like hen’s teeth. This makes this complete set something of a rarity.
The holders are silver, part gilded, part filigree and part niello enamel work and in the great middle eastern tradition of handcrafted silver. The cup holders have gilded bases and insides as well as using gilt to highlight the niello enamel, which follows traditional designs. The cups have squared handles while the bowl has more curvy handles otherwise the designs match.
The inserts are of a bottle green, mouth blown glass (quite heavy) with hand applied enamel decoration of swags and flowers. The cup inserts are straight sided with a rough pontil, the bowl has straight sides and an extensive lip.
The pieces are marked, though there is a little inconsistency. (please forgive me by the way. The marks are very small and I do not have photographic equipment capable of capturing them) The first marks are the local marks – A “KXK” for Kubachi and a “4” indicating a 1964 production date. There is then a Soviet hammer and sickle mark indicating Moscow’s assay office and 875 for the grade of silver, however (and here comes the inconsistency) there is also a 925 stamp on each piece. Acid testing shows at least high grade silver and each piece is marked identically.
First of all the fact that there are 6 cups and a bowl all with intact liners makes this an incredibly rare find and any damage is secondary to this fact. Having said that there is very little to complain about. All glassware is intact with no damage, although some of the enameling is a little worn. All silver similarly in great condition with no splits or dents. Some areas of gilding are a little worn and some of the cup holders are a little squeezed in shape but not damaged.
- Cups (holder and insert): 13 cm (5 inches) tall, 6.5 cm (2.5 inches) diameter
- Cup holders: 9 cm (3.5 in) tall inc handle, 7 cm (2.75 in) base diameter
- Bowl: 9 cm (3.5 in) tall, 14 cm (5.5 in) top diameter
- Bowl holder: 8 cm (3 in) tall, 11 cm (4.3 in) diameter
Customers outside the UK, please contact us quoting the stock number and your location for a shipping quote