At the end of the 19th century, thanks to international exhibitions held in Russia, Europe and America, the public of the Old and New World began to get to know the culture of Russia better. The goods of Russian industrialists began to be ordered and delivered to other countries. The public liked many Russian manufactured goods. In addition to furs, traditionally supplied by Russia to the foreign market, products made of silver, gold, bronze, products of cutting enterprises of the Urals and St. Petersburg were highly appreciated by consumers.
This is what is written in the Russian report on the Columbia Exhibition (Chicago, 1895): “As for the works of silver and gold artistic craftsmanship exhibited by Russia, these works – and among them especially enamel (transparent and opaque enamel), served as samples or units comparisons, according to the degree of approximation to which, in many cases, the merit of similar works of other nations was assessed.
And also a high connoisseur of Koontz, in his review of American silverware, says: “Among the most remarkable works of American craftsmanship of Gorgham (Gorham) there are a number of items with transparent enamel placed on a silver skeleton. In this collection there is a bowl of blue colors, which is able to withstand comparison with the best-crafted Russian originals of this category of works. ”
Russian silver on sale from Tiffany – Antip Kuzmichev
To understand how high the praise of Mr. Koontz was, it is clear from the fact that he was one of the leading employees of Tiffany & Co, a famous gemologist. And a mineral is named after him – kunzite. And the Gorham company was the largest at that time the manufacturer of silver products in America, the main competitor of the Tiffany company. At the same time, her enamels are compared with Russian enamels, as with a standard.
Thanks to this success, many Russian manufacturers of gold and silver items received orders for the supply of silver with enamels to the American market: Ovchinnikov, Kurlyukov, Antip Kuzmichev. The share of export products was especially significant in the assortment of Antip Kuzmichev, whose factory worked mostly on orders from large jewelry firms.
Antip Kuzmichev’s factory was founded in 1856; by the end of the 19th century, about 120 people worked at the factory.
Silver gilded teapot, decorated with champlevé enamel (height 9.2 cm), Antip Kuzmichev, Moscow, 1899-1908, sold by Tiffany & Co.
Gilded silver tea and coffee set, decorated with cloisonné enamel, Antip Kuzmichev, Moscow, 1899-1908, sold by Tiffany & Co.