Tuesday, December 29, 2015

A Samovar Saturday

On a warm November afternoon my older daughter and I took a short drive across the river (the Mississippi River for those of you not familiar with my location) to The Museum of Russian Art. I very much wished to see the exhibit about samovars. Up to this day I had only read about them and was delighted for the opportunity to see some.

The first thing we noticed was the painting shown below.

This painting is titled, The Homemaker Serving Tea. It shows the place of samovars in the culture. The painting is the work of Stanislav V. Shlyakhtin.

Next we viewed the painting, Samovar and Vessels.

This painting is the work of Geli M. Korzhev. But right beside the painting was the real samovar shown in the paiting.

During his life Korzhev was the owner of this samovar and often incorporated samovars and other articles from his home into his paintings.

Next we saw a variety of small samovars.

We saw samovars that looked as if they were made with gold.

They truly glistened. However, they are made with a copper-zinc alloy that is called Tombac. These samovars originally were sold by the Mure & Merilise Department Store in Moscow and were produced in factories in Tula. Tula -- really? I have one Russian friend and Tula was her home in Russia.

But what happened next was equally surprising. Did you know samovars were once made in Warsaw, Poland?

Above is an example of an electro-plated silver-plated samovar. This was made by the Fraget Brothers.

The above samovar which is designed to look like a steam engine was also made in Warsaw. The accompanying signage for this samovar said it could move around the table. Apparently the samovar produced heat to warm the water to make tea as well as energy to move the samovar about.This particular samovar is attributed to Roman Plewkiewisz and was made sometime between 1900-1914, a time when Warsaw was the center for making the silver-plated samovars.

We saw another painting by Korzhev.

Next we walked to the gift shop. It was fun to see a bit of Poland. 

This was a great afternoon at the museum.

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