Art Kaleidoscope

Between art and craft

Category Archive: Vintage

Hermitage Peacock Clock

Hermitage Peacock Clock

Hermitage Peacock Clock

Hermitage Peacock Clock

Creating a mechanical bird is a very ancient art – in ancient times the figures of “singing” birds decorated clepsydra – water clocks. In the XVIII century creators of automata tried to construct a system to make the birds look and act as realistically as possible – the life-size birds could sing and move like living creatures. The Hermitage Peacock Clock automation features three life-sized mechanical birds made by English masters James Cox and Friedrich Urey in the 1770s. The Peacock Clock is constantly exhibited in the Pavilion Hall of the Small Hermitage, St. Petersburg, Russia. The Clock was made of bronze, silver, crystals, gilding. The uniqueness of this clock is that they it is still in working condition (hours work, and the Peacock Starts every Wednesday at 19:00), and is the only worldwide largest machine of the XVIII century, has come down to our time without changes.
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Hyper realistic dolls by Alyona Abramova

Doll 'Russian Beauty' author's work, a single copy. Hand embroidery, Vintage. Hyper realistic dolls by Alyona Abramova

Doll ‘Russian Beauty’ author’s work, a single copy. Hand embroidery, Vintage. Hyper realistic dolls by Alyona Abramova

Hyper realistic dolls by Alyona Abramova
Alyona Abramova (nee Shachkova), an artist by profession and “for life.” She graduated from Kholuy art school named after NN Kharlamov in 2004. Before that, there was an attempt to get an education at the Russian Academy of tourism in Moscow. But the artist who has always lived in the soul of Alyona – led her in another direction. The fate threw her into Kholui – famous in Russia center of lacquer miniature. In the words of the artist herself, she fell in love with this little piece of Russia, who is still in awe of its silence and nature. This can be assessed only by city people! Nature and silence – the best teacher for the artist. No chromatics and composition do not go with it in comparison! And nothing teaches better than a close observation of the world. And the spark of God in the soul, intuition – a lot more than education and diplomas. Alyona always drew, and her artistic education is more likely to “tick” in the personal file. The artist – is not a job but a way of life. As her teacher of composition said, “God has given us our profession in a good mood and with his eyes closed.”
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Exquisite Nautilus jewelry art masterpieces

Exquisite Nautilus jewelry art masterpieces. Nautilus snail, c. 1630, German, Nuremberg

Riding Snail, c. 1630, German, Nuremberg. Exquisite Nautilus jewelry art masterpieces

Exquisite Nautilus jewelry art masterpieces
The Golden Ratio is widely used in art, architecture and religious symbols. Great artists have used the golden ratio in their paintings. Guggenheim Museum, Frank Lloyd Wright-designed, has the shape of a nautilus shell. Scientists came to the conclusion that people find beautiful work of art, buildings and even a person who meets the proportions of the golden Ratio. Nautilus shell symbolizes The Golden Ratio. The proportion of golden section is known as the phi number – 1.61803 … to infinity number after the decimal point – the “key to the physics of the cosmos” (Plato).
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Matchbox holder Art

Matchbox holder Art

Scene from every day life in the village. Matchbox holder Art

Matchbox holder Art
A relatively recent invention of mankind, matches have replaced the flint about two centuries ago, and safety matches appeared only in 1844. However, match holders have neither an inventor nor a homeland, as they appeared simultaneously in several countries, in the era before 1900. Matchbox holders were made for the living room, office, bedroom, and of course, kitchen. They were in the form of figures and grandiose compositions and made of different materials, such as gold, nickel, silver, brass, aluminum, bronze, iron and even porcelain. And some unique memorable “Match Safes” are a real work of art. Even nowadays, the same as previously, these cute little things are passed as heirlooms. Besides, they are popular among connoisseurs and collectors of antiques. Undoubtfully, vintage matchbox holders, carrying the spirit of others and passing time, beauty and grace, will be always valued.
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World of Art movement for theater

World of Art movement for theater

Konstantin Somov. Title Page for A. Blok’s book The Theater. 1907. Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow. World of Art movement for theater

World of Art movement for theater

In the history of Russian art, and in particular, the late nineteenth century was a period of creative innovation and a fundamental restructuring of form. Thus, in the 1890s, a generation of artists who radically revised almost the entire range of established tradition, opened a new chapter in Russia’s visual arts. The World of Art group, which gave rise to this forceful and influential movement, was formed in St. Petersburg in the early 1890s. In 19885, Savva Mamontov established his private opera company in Moscow, enlisting many prominent artists to work as theatrical designers. This laid the foundation for a new type of stage decor, having nothing in common with traditional stereotypes. All World of Art members were strongly attracted to the theater. Much later, in his memoirs, Benois admitted that throughout his life he worshiped the theater, that in his mind the concept of “artistry” was always associated with the concept of “theatricality”. The same is true of other World of Art masters who dedicated themselves to stage design and book illustration.
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Clintons Art Nouveau cards

Clintons Art Nouveau cards

Lady in blue. Clintons Art Nouveau cards

Clintons Art Nouveau cards
You probably saw lovely “Clintons” birthday Deco cards featuring a beautiful lady in 1930’s dress on them. But in fact, they are Art Nouveau cards, the style that appeared later. The style of Art Deco is characterized by rich colors, bold geometric shapes. Anyway, Clintons Art Nouveau cards are gorgeous – sparkling lady wearing a black or pink dress and fancy head dress embellished with glitter and silver foil text. In addition, the style was the first major artistic stylistic movement in which mass-produced graphics played a key role. And a key influence belongs to the Paris-based Czech artist Alphonse Mucha, who, by the way, created a lithographed poster, featuring Sarah Bernhardt.
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Prayer Nut wood carving art

Prayer Nut wood carving art

A small boxwood orb decorated inside and outside with carving on religious themes – Prayer Nut wood carving art

Prayer Nut wood carving art
First of all, to produce such a prayer nut required considerable skill. Within the scope of the concave a skillful master carved miniature stories about the life of Christ and his apostles. Noteworthy, the width of a “nut” was no more than 3-5 cm in diameter. And to add flavor to patterns the artist added leaves of spice plants or aromatic oil. Undoybtedly, every Prayer Nut is a true work of art. Only the very rich could afford to order such a pocket-like altar. Therefore, possession of “prayer nuts” underlines the high social status. Designed to be worn on a rosary or belt these orbs could be used for private devotion. In particular, when its wealthy owner traveled. Therefore, they were known as rosary beads or prayer nuts.
The skill of medieval craftsmen still amazes. Every detail of the composition conceived and executed with maximum precision. These exquisite Prayer nuts adorn exposures of the world’s leading museums. Among them the British Museum in London and the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Louvre. A few years ago at an auction one such nut was sold for 133,250 pounds.

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