Jewellery, Watches and Objects of Vertu to include the personal archive of Louis Osman, goldsmith and architect (27 March 2018)

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Date of Auction: 27th March 2018

Sold for £600

Estimate: £600 - £800

A Russian early 20th century silver and shaded cloisonné enamel circular box by the 11th Artel, decorated with stylized floral motifs, incorporating triangular detail, in pinks, yellows, greens and violet enamels, against a textured ground, with beaded edging and emerald set thumbpiece, the hinged lid enclosing silver gilt interior stamped with marks of the 11th Artel, Moscow 1908-1917, and kokoshnik mark (facing right) for fineness of 84 zolotniks, diameter 4.5cm. £600-800

Condition Report

The enamel detail is mostly in good condition, just a few cracks to the enamel in the flower heads around the side of the box. There are two areas of slight abrasion along the inner rim of the lid when opened and the emerald thumbpiece is chipped and compressed in its setting. The bottom section - just below where the clasp closes, has a slight area of depression along the rim edge. Along the rim of the base, there is a section missing to the underside of the inner rim. Gross weight 49.6gm.


The Russian Artels of Imperial Russia were semi formal groups or ‘co-operatives’ in different fields such as agriculture, mining, fishing and gold/silversmithing. Nowadays they are all but forgotten except for the gold and silver artels which produced fine quality objects. An artel was opposed to mass production, having a minimum of 5 owners/attendants, and each artel having its own rules of operation. The 11th Artel was one of the most famous, reputedly being suppliers to Fabergé workshops. They followed a traditional style, with complete enamel covering, but showing an art nouveau influence in the fluidity of their designs. Distinctive decoration includes triangular and rectangular cells of enamel work, volutes, spirals, silver beading, and ‘water colour’ tints of green ochre, violet, blue and cream.