Russian Gold and Silver Articles of the 12th—17th centuries
One of the halls of the Armoury in the Moscow Kremlin has on display a collection of articles made by Russian gold- and silversmiths of the 12th—17th centuries, the artistic and historic value of which can be hardly overestimated. It comprises all sorts of royal and church utensils: gold and silver bowls, loving cups, chalices, crosses, gospels and icons in magnificent covers. This artistic heritage, represents a wide variety of forms, original designs, and complicated techniques, which speak of high standards of craftsmanship of the masters. Most of the objects made of gold, silver, pearls and gems were therefore intended for the elite: the royal family, princes and high clergy. In spite of the the masters who created all those valuables strove to preserve in their works the elements of traditional folk art. This desire of theirs showed itself in the shapes and ways of decorating the objects. Russian jewellers practised various techniques of working precious metals: casting, chasing, repousse, carving, incision, niello, filigree, painted enamel, and made a good use of gems.
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