Decorative Arts
silver, silver-gilt, enamel
Russia,Moscow and St. Petersburg
23 5/8" H x 21" W x 2" D (60.01 cm. H x 53.34 cm. W x 5.08 cm. D)

Welcoming guests with a ceremonial presentation of bread and salt is an ancient and honored tradition in Russia. The center of this presentation plate features the enamel coat of arms of the Kherson province. The inscription translates as: “From the loyal zemstvo of the Kherson Guberniia.” A zemstvo was an elected body of local self-government in charge of education, transport, and health. The border of the dish has three engraved scenes that alternate with panels of decorative vines. The scenes are identified with Cyrillic inscriptions that translate as: Education: Village Agricultural School; Transport: Village Ponton Bridge across River Inguletz; and Health: Hospital in City of Anayev.

This plate was presented to Tsar Alexander III and his wife, Empress Maria Feodorovna, in 1888 during a visit to the Kherson province. It is one of hundreds of such bread-and-salt plates given to the couple during their numerous visits throughout Russia.

Imperial warrant mark of I. P. Khlebnikov, assay mark of St. Petersburg before 1899 (dated 1888), initals of assay master Cyrillic IW, 84 zolotnik. Assay mark of St. Peterburg
The inscription in Russian on this plate reads: “From the loyal zemstvo of the Kherson Guberniia.”
Bequest of Lillian Thomas Pratt
Fabergé Revealed, Palace Museum, Beijing, China, April 16 - July 17, 2016

Fabergé: Jeweler to the Tsars, Oklahoma City Museum of Art, June 20 – September 27, 2015

Fabergé Revealed, Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art, Las Vegas, Nevada, November 14, 2014 - May 25, 2015

Fabulous Fabergé, Jeweler to the Czars, Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, June 14 - October 12, 2014

Fabergé Revealed, Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, Massachusetts, June 22 - September 29, 2013

Fabergé: The Rise and Fall, Detroit Institute of Art, October 14, 2012 - January 21, 2013
Image released via Creative Commons CC-BY-NC

Some object records are not complete and do not reflect VMFA's full and current knowledge. VMFA makes routine updates as records are reviewed and enhanced.