Beaded embroidery, purses, tea glass holder, picture

Russian State Literature Museums

Russian State Literature Museums

At the end of the 18th century and beginning of the 19th, the aristocracy was so fascinated with bead craft that it became an integral part of the culture and way of life in Russia. This time has been called the golden age of Russian beads.
The beaded art of the 19th century is noted for an abundance of ornamental motifs and compositions, reflecting the artistic tastes of the time. Beaded products were most in demand in the 1820s and 30s, when interior and fashion designs were dominated by plant motifs. Beaded products most often featured floral patterns: garlands, branches, bouquets, wreaths and half-wreaths, single flowers, all of which were characteristic of the classical style. On the small items—handbags, purses, and glass-holders—the basic pattern is horizontal, usually at the top or bottom of the object. The remaining space is filled with small details in the form of twigs, flowers, speckles, stars, or it was left empty. Other classical ornaments included motifs such as the horn of plenty, baskets, and vases with flowers.
Bead crafts in the 19th century were made by not only girls, but also boys. In 1827, the 13-year-old Lermontov wrote, in one of his first letters to his Moscow aunt M. A. Shan-Girey: “To Katyusha, in gratitude for the garter, I am sending a beaded box made by me.”

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  • Title: Beaded embroidery, purses, tea glass holder, picture
  • Contributor: The house-museum of Mikhail Lermontov, The house-museum of Mikhail Lermontov

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