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Table Seal

First quarter of the 19th century

Cornelian, pink opalescent glass, bronze, gold L of die 2.3 cm, w 2 cm, h overall 6 cm

The fashion for making seals depicting family coat-of-arms or the owner's monogram, which could also serve as table ornaments, was particularly popular in Russia in the second half of the 19th century. Ornaments for such seals, in the form of vases and animal figurines, were mostly made in Yekaterinburg. The die was engraved to a design specified by the client. Craftsmen chose unusual, and sometimes curiously shaped pieces of rock for their wares. The pink opalescent glass made by private Russian firms in the 1820s and 1830s was highly regarded in the early 19th century. Glassware of this kind is usually small in size and combined with cast bronze, and sometimes comes complete with a malachite stand. The seal's ormolu setting is decorated with tiny rolled gold leaves. Very few examples of such pink opalescent glassware have survived.

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