Rare Chased Silver & Wood Wine Pourer
length: 23.2cm, height: 9cm, weight: 269g
This unusual vessel of wood with a beautiful patina from age and use, and chased and engraved silver mounts, was used at Georgian weddings and other important feasts in the Caucasus as a wine goblet and pourer. Wine was stored in the vessel and the long spout would have been held to the mouth and from which the wine was emitted.
The more typical examples of Georgian wine drinking vessels are shaped as flasks or vases. The type here is rarer. A related example is displayed in London’s Wallace Collection. Another is illustrated in
The Caucasian Peoples, (2001, p. 161).
The turned wooden body is decorated with numerous silver plaques. The main plaque on the top of the vessel is chased with a feline-type animal attacking a deer. Elsewhere, silver plaques are decorated with birds and other animals, including the long spout or handle which is encased in hammered and chased silver sheet.
The spout features a prominent silver hook against which a finger rests whilst the vessel is in use and being uprighted. The mouth of the spout is embellished with a pierced silver frame or arabesque form.
In traditional Georgian society, each festival or feast had its own fixed, communal formula. The
tamada or toast-master was the lead figure. He was required to propose toasts for all present, following strict rules of precedence. He also announced when there would be music, singing and dancing. The tamada was usually elected from among the most eloquent present. Vessels such as this example would have been supplied at a feast or participants might have chosen to bring their own.
The vessel here has a superb patina and has obvious age. It is rare and sculptural.
The Caucasian Peoples, catalogue for an exhibition of the Russian Ethnographic Museum, staged at the Hessenhuis, Antwerp, Belgium, 2001.Provenance:
UK art market
Inventory no.: 4621