Medium: Silver and enamel
Dimensions: 25 15/16 x 5 1/2 in. (65.9 x 14 cm)
Marks: Grachev, Manufacturer; mark of Andrey Mikhaylovich; 88 silver standard. See yellow sheet in file for ill.
Classification: Decorative Arts, Metal
Credit Line: Gift of Ann and Henry Brunnier. In the Ann and Henry Brunnier Collection, Brunnier Art Museum, University Museums, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa.
In 1866 Gavril Grachev founded the firm which operated under the name Gasse in St. Petersburg. In 1873 his two sons Mikhail and Semen took control and called it Grachev Brothers until the Russian Revolution of 1917. The firm was granted an Imperial Warrant in 1893, allowing them to stamp the imperial eagle on the base of their wares. Grachev Brothers won a gold medal at the Paris World Exhibition of 1889 and another gold medal at the Chicago Columbian Exposition of 1893. The firm is known for its traditional style.
This Grachev lampada has a three-tiered, crenated form similar to that of imperial crowns, thus giving it a regal appearance. Interwoven strapwork dominates the surface decoration. The scrolling strapwork combined with the royal blue connecting pieces in enamel are reminiscent of medieval book illustrations and suggest an opulent past. A lampada would typically be hung before an icon as a sanctuary lamp.