The gorgeous and awesome silver and enamel products which were produced
by the talented silversmiths of Imperial Russia for the Czar and the
wealthy nobility are among the most beautiful enameled silver objects
The combination of several collections has allowed me to present the
largest group of enameled Russian silver spoons on the internet (as of
The most important name among Russian silversmith is that of Faberge.
None of the spoons pictured here are a product of that workshop.
Caution must be exercised as a number of fake Russian enamel silver
objects have been created and are available in the antiques markets.
Most of these fakes are for Faberge and other very prominent silver
houses and for Russian Judaica silver. While I am not an expert in
Russian silverwork, I suspect that all of these spoons are true
examples of the artwork of imperial Russia. However I have identified
some that have questionable marks and they are shown in a separate exhibit.
In 1917, the Bolshevik revolution swept through Russia and disrupted
the established order. Most of the nobility were either killed or ended
up in exile. For those who made it to safe havens, they often sold
their precious silver, gold, jewels, gowns etc. to raise money to
support their lifestyles.
The Bolsheviks (communists) also seized huge amounts of precious items
and periodically sold them into the international markets to
raise money. Also some of the seized goods were melted and
refined into silver and gold bars.
In addition, some peasant families were able to acquire precious items
and hide them for decades. After the collapse of the Communist empire,
many of these items were also sold into the international markets.
The Russian nobility was very fond of elaborate dinner parties and
social get togethers. Spoons of this type were meant to impress the
guests and to show the wealth and power of the party giver.
In most cases these spoons were originally part of sets. Over the years
the sets have been broken up into their individual components and very
few intact sets exist in the world. One set of 12 matched coffee sized
spoons in a fitted case was sold by Christies Auction House in
London for $5614 (plus buyer premium) in Feb. 2011. In October of
2013, Skinners sold a very nice set of 6
demitasse (4.25") in a fitted case for $6000 (click for picture).
It is quite
possible that you have a matching piece or a very similar
spoon. This presentation is not exhaustive and many other styles
beauty are still available in
I particularly enjoy the variety of the individual pieces and delight
in the craftsmanship exhibit by these pieces. All of the spoons are
marked as being 84 zolotnic silver (875/1000). All have a manufacturer
mark (but they are usually difficult to read). some have a city mark
for Moscow or St. Petersburg. I have not been able to assign them to an
individual workman in most cases.
Large cloissone and enamel server featuring a
beautiful bird as the central design motif (see first picture for
Russian Cloissone enameled silver spoons with rounded style knops --
back of spoon shown
At this time in history, when the table was set, the
spoons were turned face
side down. Thus the detail work was on the back of the bowl so that
would see the gorgeous workmanship when they sat down for dinner.
Front view of these same spoons
near the bottom of this page is a link which will enable you to see
detail pictures of these spoon
These Russian enameled cloissone spoons have round
back of spoon shown
Front of spoon shown
Near the bottom of this page is a link which will
enable you to see detail photos of these spoons
Demi sized cloissone enamel spoons fit for a
Beautiful champleve style silver spoon from Imperial
Interesting Russian enamel spoon which has been
engraved "New York" in a modern script style.
My guess is that an immigrant was very happy to be in
Cloisonne vs. Champleve
The various types of enamel workmanship
are described in this article
Detail pictures of some of the beautiful spoons in this exhibit
View similar looking spoons with