Russian Cloisonne Enameled Silver Beaker Vase and Undertray
Pavel Ovchinnikov with Imperial Warrant assayer Viktor Savinkov, Moscow, 1877
Of flaring cylindrical form, with bands of geometric enamel decoration and a band of stylized birds, the rim inscribed in Cyrillic to translate as Silver Beaker: Good to Drink from for your Health. Height of beaker 7 1/4 inches, diameter of undertray 6 3/4 inches.
Famed Russian silversmith Pavel Ovchinnikov opened his Moscow firm in 1853 and immediately embraced the Slavic Revival style becoming its early champion. In 1868, he was granted the prestigious title of Court Jeweler and added the coveted Imperial Eagle to his hallmark, as seen on this beaker vase. Russian silversmiths were charged with creating objects such as this for Russia's immensely wealthy aristocracy whose tradition of lavish gift giving flourished under the Tsars.
The Hicks family is well documented in New York City, and especially in the area of Kings County, Brooklyn, where the family roots can be easily traced to 1804, with John Mott Hicks (1804-1899). John Hick's daughter, Mary Hicks, married banker David Stewart on April 28, 1887, becoming stepmother to the famed art collector, Isabella Stewart Gardner. Widowed, Mary Hicks Stewart later married the German-American Hudson River School landscape painter Albert Bierstadt in March 1894, and the couple lived on New York's Fifth Avenue. At the time of Mary Hicks Stewart Bierstadt's death on October 3, 1916, she left a large share of her estate, then valued at upwards of $1.2 million, and all of her artwork to her brother, Theodore Frelinghuysen Hicks.
Theodore Frelinghuysen Hicks (b. 1847), served as a Director of the Keokuk and Hamilton Bridge Company in Illinois during the time Andrew Carnegie was the company's president. He married Martha Allen (1865-1927), and their daughter, Martha A. Hicks (1892-1972) married John M. Lee (1893-1927) in 1917 in Washington, DC. They had two sons, John Lee and Theodore Hicks Lee.
Theodore Hicks Lee (1920-1999) was educated at Choate and Princeton University, where he graduated in 1942 with highest honors. Upon graduation and until his retirement, he worked for the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company in New York City. Beginning in World War II, he served in the United States Merchant Marines for seven years.
In 1999, Doyle sold property from the Estate of Theodore Hicks Lee, including an important set of hand-colored aquatint plates after Karl Bodmer chronicling Prince Maximilian's journey among the Plains Indians in the American West, 1832-34. Estimated at $60,000-90,000, the set achieved $332,500. An antique Kashmir sapphire and diamond ring formerly from the Estate of Theodore Hicks Lee, estimated at $15,000-20,000, sold at Doyle in October 2015 for $197,000.
C Estate of Theodore Hicks Lee, New York, by descent
Additional Notes & Condition Report
Undertray: Appears to be in generally good condition; no apparent dings or dents or enamel losses with perhaps the exception of one small inconsequential nick to a small red triangular enamel decoration; silver is now tarnished; underside has been partially polished; the center medallion depicts a hen or rooster; there is similar iconography on the beaker; assay mark 1877
Any condition statement is given as a courtesy to a client, is only an opinion and should not be treated as a statement of fact. Doyle New York shall have no responsibility for any error or omission. The absence of a condition statement does not imply that the lot is in perfect condition or completely free from wear and tear, imperfections or the effects of aging.
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