Tyragetia (Nov 2018)

On the Issues of the Technical Examination of Oriental Silver in the Collection of the State Hermitage Museum

  • Mihail Verevkin,
  • Yuri Piatnitski

Journal volume & issue
Vol. XII, no. 1
pp. 319 – 330


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The publications of objects from the collection of Oriental silver in the State Hermitage Museum rarely include a professional expertise on their making. The few exceptions are the works of R.F. Minosyan and, especially, B.I. Marshak, in which techniques used by craftsmen were taken into account in the attribution and dating the objects. In several articles Marshak discussed a plate found in 1880 near the city of Irbit, the Perm Province; he dated it to the 12th century and considered it as a product of one of the workshops which existed in the territories of the Crusaders in northern Syria. The use of modern instruments and research methods makes it possible to return once again to the technical expertise of the place. Such expertise was done at the State Hermitage, in the Laboratory for Scientific Restoration of Precious Metals. This article offers the results of the study, and stresses the necessity of similar expertise for the objects that display stylistic parallels with the Irbit plate, namely Wawel’s casket in Krakow, and a bowl from Rzhyshchevo (now in Kiev), as well as two less artistic bowls of the 12th century – one with an image of an allegoric personage from the Yamal-Nenets District Museum, and the one from Arilje, Serbia