Russian Enamel Jewelry
Enamel Jewelry Art emerged in Russia in the 10th century and reached its perfection in the XVI – XVII centuries. Russian Enamel Jewelry is mostly known to the world as Vologda (Usolye) enamel and Rostov finift. Rostov finift takes its name from the old center of crafts and jewelry making in the city of Rostov, Yaroslavl region. Russian Enamel Jewelry is characterized by beautiful design, luster and transparency of enamel colors. Since ancient times Rostov finift and Vologda enamel have been always considered to be the most artful and valuable jewelry. Painted on enamel images preserved the purity, brilliance and color transparency for hundreds of years. The exclusive character of enamel miniatures is due to high skilled artists and extremely complex, time-consuming process of their manufacture.
Vologda (Usolye) enamel – traditional painting on white enamel which appeared in the XVII century in Solvychegodsk, then Vologda. Initially, the main motive was plant composition, floral ornaments, birds, animals, including mythological and using a variety of colors.
Rostov finift (from the Greek “finiftis” means “shining”) – Russian folk art craft of miniature painting on enamel appeared in XVIII century in Rostov (Yaroslavl region). Thumbnail images are performed on transparent enamel with fire-resistant paints, invented in 1632 by French jeweler Jean Tooten.
The process of creating miniatures on enamel is time consuming and difficult work of the artist, because the slightest deviation from the strict consistency in the work of even minute overexposure in the firing process can lead to damage of the product.