Freeman's Auction
A Russian silver and champlevé-enamel cockerel-form covered presentation cup

Alexander Nikolaevich Sokolov, St. Petersburg, 1882-1899

In the Slavic revival style, and modeled as a standing cockerel bearing an engraved and champlevé-enameled shield with the latin script monogram "VVSS," for Vladimir & Vera Senutovitch, with a tail-shaped handle support with strapwork ornament, the interior gilded, marked on tail and crest, 84 standard, with the 'dvoinik' for St. Petersburg, as well as a French import mark for 1893-1970 on the rim.

H: 10 in. Weight: 31.24 oz. t.



PROVENANCE:

Wladimir Nikolaevich Senutovitch (1877-1957)
Irina Wladimirovna Senutovitch (1915-2000)
Thence by descent

Estimate $30,000-50,000

The design of this exceptional example of pan-slavic style silver by the silversmith Alexander Nikolaevich Sokolov has a subject and form likely derived from an illustration from the highly influential work of Feodor Sol'ntsev, "Drevnosti rossiiskago gosudarstva" (Antiquities of the Russian State).

While Sokolov had worked with rooster and cockerel models as early as the 1870's, few examples of this later unusual model appear to exist, and the offered lot bears a unique and additional champlevé-enamel and engraved shield-shaped plaque, likely ordered concurrent with the item's purchase. The Latin script monogram 'VVSS' for Vladimir & Vera Senutovitch, indicates that the piece may have been a wedding gift.

A smaller but virtually identical model by Sokolov without the additional engraved and champleve enameled plaque was sold Sotheby's New York, 16 April, 2015, Lot 76.


Wladimir Nikolaevich Senutovitch (1877-1957):

Wladimir Nikolaevich Senutovitch was born in Tiflis (now Tblisi), Georgia, on April 23, 1877, the son of Nikolai Vasilievich Senutovitch and his wife, Princess Ketevan Grigorievna Abamelik.

Senutovitch was educated in Georgia, and arrived in Saint Petersburg at the turn of the century, becoming a director of Gustav Nobel's Russian General Oil Company. By the time of the Revolution in 1917 he was also the director of "Petrograd-Grozny," and twenty other companies including two of the largest cold storage companies in Russia, a coal mining company, a jute manufacturing company, a ship building company and a total of fourteen other oil companies including "The Sons of Lianozov"; the "Brothers Mirzoyev Co.": "A.I. Montashev & Co."; and the "Emba Caspian".

With the arrival of the Revolution, Senutovitch saw his family to safety in Finland, and in 1918, he returned to Russia where he served as the Chief of the White General Nikolai Yudenich's Supply Departments, responsible for distribution of food, clothing and munitions to the White Russian Army on the Northwestern front during the Civil War from 1918-1920.

In 1919, he made a trip to Paris to represent General Yudenich, and shortly afterwards, he emigrated to Paris with his wife Vera Petrovna where he was reunited with family and friends that included members of the Russian Imperial House in exile. He continued his philanthropy in France, and became President of "La Federation Mondiale des Invalides et Mutiles de Guerre Russes", work for which he was subsequently awarded the French Legion of Honor.

In 1928, he was elected to the Council of the Church of Saint Alexander Nevsky in Paris and later became a member of the West-European Diocese of the Constantinople Patriarchate while he was living in Marrakech, Morocco, directing the oil company owned there by Gustav Nobel.

The Senutovitch family lived in Paris and at Luneray, Normandy, where they were close friends to the family of H.I.H. the Grand Duke Kirill Wladimirovich, head of the Russian Imperial House in-exile, and his children, H.I.H. Grand Duke Wladimir Kirillovich (later head of the Russian Imperial House) and H.I.H. Grand Duchess Kira Kirillovna (later H.I.& R.H. Princess Kira of Prussia).

In 1949, W.N. Senutovitch moved to New York, and thence in 1950 to Santa Fe, New Mexico where his son Andre had settled after WWII. He died there on July 2, 1957.

Freeman's is grateful to the descendants of W.N. Senutovitch for providing biographical information.


Sold for $33,800 (buyer's premium included)