Samovar presented to the Japanese emperor from Tsesarevich Nikolai Alexandrovich during his trip to the Far East in 1890-91
The samovar is one of the most iconic symbols of Russia, along with onion-domed churches, matryoshkas and fur hats. A temporary exhibition at the Tsaritsyno Estate provides a rare glimpse at the broad variety of these fancy “self-boilers.”
Some 200 samovars from the 18th to early 20th centuries are on display, all from the private collection of three generations of the Lobanov family from St. Petersburg. According to the curators, it’s the world’s best collection of samovars from those times, including items by renowned craftspeople and producers from various regions of Russia. In compiling the collection, the Lobanovs sought to bring together objects reflecting the history, origins and development of the samovar as an integral part of Russian domestic culture, while at the same time showing the wealth, variety and talent of local craftspeople.
Curator Yelena Dremova told RIA Novosti that the most interesting exhibits include a samovar decorated with laurel and maple leaves, made especially as a gift to the Japanese emperor from Tsesarevich Nikolai Alexandrovich (the future Tsar Nicholas II) during his trip to the Far East in 1890-91. Others belonged to such notables as writer Mikhail Bulgakov and Provisional Government Prime Minister Alexander Kerensky.
To further immerse visitors in the atmosphere of the Russian tea ceremony, the exhibition includes related objects such as tea pots and cups, sugar bowls and serving trays.
“Birds of Gzhel” is included as an extra exhibition, consisting of Archpriest Alexei Potokin’s private collection of the distinctive blue and white ceramics. The 140 items include vases, jugs, tea pots, sugar bowls, plates, trays, beer mugs, clocks, and figurines.
© Moscow News. 21 August, 2012