Russian Art

January 28, 2015 - Michele Woodburn

Greetings Royal Friends and Followers,

As many of you know, we are in the process of getting ready for our next living estate sale. I thought I would take a little time out to share some of the Russian art treasures we found in this one. Much of the time, I feel like my contribution is pretty minimal. My burly Royal Scotsman really does know his stuff, and he is amazingly organized with these things! Now, if I could just get him to use those skills at home……..But, I digress.

My usual job in the getting ready is to wash or polish what needs it, and I have a weird knack for finding and reuniting pieces of things that have gotten separated. So I find that long missing pillow case, or sugar lid, or handle. It’s funny, because I will pull something out of a box and just “see” it. Do you ever do that? Of course I know I’m needed when it comes to the days of the sale to run the check out table!
Every once in a while though, my “eye” becomes important. Especially when we are dealing with something that I particularly like. For example, Russian art. I have always loved the Russian fairy tales, and the traditional artwork that accompanies those tales. I have a passion for Matryoshka dolls (there is a really neat article on these on Tea) and Russian lacquer boxes. So finding a number of pieces of Russian Art at this sale was really exciting.

The Master's tray          Russian Art closeup

My Burly Royal Scotsman had priced a couple of trays that I thought were especially attractive, and as I looked at them, I questioned the price. I actually thought it was too low. The trays just seemed exceptional to me. I turned them over and found a signature on the back. Misha Lebedev. I called this to MBRS’s attention, and prompted some further research. To my surprise, it turns out that Mikhail (Misha) Victorovich Lebedev is one of the Russian Masters, and our homeowner has studied under him! We even found him listed in one of the books at the sale. This led to a whole discussion on the topic, and a deeper appreciation for some of the Russian Art traditions. The other trays in the sale were done by other of Misha’s students.

from the book     The book

So how can our homeowner stand to part with these beautiful pieces? Well, it’s all part of that difficult process of “downsizing” (I’ll have more on this process later)! She has other, smaller pieces by him that she is keeping, and these are quite large at aproximately 17 inches in diameter. The smaller pieces just fit better in her new place, so the rest of us get to share!

two master trays

Have you ever parted with something that just went to that “perfect” new home? Especially if it was something you found difficult to part with, share your stories with us below! This has all been very exciting, and I want to hear your stories as well.

Ta Ta for Now,

Her Studious Majesty, Queen Michele