Russian Silver-Mounted Wood Table Box
Rectangular, the hinged cover inset with a silver relief plaque depicting Emperor Nicholas I on his deathbed, signed in Russian Ya Seryakov and dated 1855, the reverse of the plaque inscribed in Russian Nicholas I 1825-1855, on bracket feet. Height 2 inches (5 cm), width 7 3/4 inches (19.7 cm), depth 4 inches (10.2 cm).
Yakov Seryakov (1818-c. 1869), despite having no formal art education, developed into a widely acclaimed portrait painter and master of carved bone and ivory portraits. He completed a large number of portrait busts, as well as embossed portrait medallions and rectangular plaques, relying on print sources, a common practice of Russian carvers of the period. Seryakov would eventually create an entire gallery of portraits of his contemporaries, from minor officials to the nobility. His clients included government officials, merchants, artists, military and clergymen, as well as the Russian Imperial Family. He completed portaits of Nicholas I, heir apparent Alexander Nikolaevich and Grand Duke Mikhail Pavlovich.
The image of Nicholas I on his deathbed is known from contemporary prints, however no other silver relief plaques are currently known.
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