A pair of ormolu mounted malachite Ekaterinburg vases after a design by I.I. Galberg
French, 20th century
Height 51cm, diameter 32cm
Crafted to a design by the prestigious architect and craftsman Ivan Ivanovich Galberg, the Imperial Court architect from 1817 and who worked at the Ekaterinburg Imperial Lapidary Factory, these stunning vases are made of out malachite and gilt-bronze. In the Campana form, a shape itself a variant of the Classical Calyx Krater, they stand upon a pair of malachite stepped-square bases, themselves mounted upon gilt-bronze paw feet.
Illustrating both the Russian predilection for this vibrant green gemstone, and the natural pairing of this wonderful material with radiant gilt decoration, these rich vases, inlaid with gilding, are mounted upon a pair of ormolu handles, which are decorated, where they attach to the body of the vases, with classical male bearded masks. The patterns and bands of the malachite are complemented by the concentric circles, gadrooning, and foliate bands of the ormolu embellishment. Truly striking and visually dominating items, they are infused too with an undeniable Russian sophistication and grandeur.