9454 AN UNUSUAL MOTHER OF PEARL AND GILT-BRONZE MOUNTED ENCRIER Russian. Circa 1830. Measurements: Height: 12 1/2″ (32cm); Width: 11 1/2″ (29cm); Depth: 7 1/4″ (18.5cm).
Of mother of pearl with gilt bronze mounts. The paper knife headed with a carved eagle and set within an obelisk, the obelisk centered to the front with a cameo carved in low relief, with six pen holders to either side, and raised on four gilt spheres above a stepped plinth, the plinth fitted to the front with a single drawer, the drawer centered by a circular gilt bronze drop handle. The drum shaped ink well with chevron decoration, the whole resting on a stepped plinth base with chequered decoration and raised on four gilt bronze feet, each foot surmounted by a flame. One drum form inkwell and appurtenances lacking.
Thanks to Emmanuel Ducamp, the renowned expert on Russian applied arts, it has recently transpired that this encrier is of Russian manufacture. The portrait bust carved in low relief to the obelisk is that of Nicholas I, and an encrier of almost identical type, although retaining its original accessories, is in the Russian state collections at the Palace of Tsarskoe Selo (figure 1).