Malachite is one of Russia’s most prestigious stones, and its use in the creation of this rare and opulent inkwell indicates commission and ownership by an individual of considerable status. Wonderful doré bronze accents are the perfect complement to the vivid green stone. Two dipping wells and pen tray make this inkwell as functional as it is beautiful.
18 1/4” wide x 11” deep x 5 1/2” high
The 19th century proved to be the golden age of Russian malachite. The stone became a sign of prestige and a token of wealth -- so much so that Russian papers of the time wrote: “To afford having a big piece wrought in malachite is synonymous to owning diamonds.” Due to malachite's relatively close proximity, Russian tsars could easily obtain the malachite they needed to decorate their lavish palaces, such as the Winter Palace in St. Petersburg, paneling walls and commissioning beautiful inlaid works of art. Year after year the Russian (Romanov) treasury paid increasingly unreasonable prices to hoard the best malachite, much of which went into Romanov palaces and extravagant objects d’art. The Hermitage Museum possesses a collection of over two hundred examples of this “palatial” malachite, displayed namely in the legendary Malachite Room.