A Silver Hot Water Urn

I.W. Buch, maker's mark, assaymaster A. Jaschinov, St. Petersburg, 1798

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The slender vase cradled by acanthus leaf and flowerhead calyx and applied on the reverse with the arms of Count Ivan Kutaissov, further applied with entwined leaf and bead border below the gadrooned rim, the shaped domed lid with leaf and cone finial, foliate scroll handles, raised on a stepped base, wood tap handle missing, height 61cm

During the occupation of Bender in 1770, a slave of supposedly princely origins named Mustapha, was captured and given as a present to Grand Duke Paul who had him christened Ivan Kutais, because it was near that place that he was taken prisoner. Grand Duke Paul had

the boy educated and in consideration of his zealous and faithful service, first as a chamberlain and later in various high positions at court, he was, in 1798, advanced to the ranks of nobility. The year after, as Chief Equerry, he was given the rank of Count of the Russian Empire, extended to his family and posterity. His coat-of-arms shows in the escutcheon the Imperial eagle and the cypher of Emperor Paul I. The fallen silver moon against a blue ground is a reference to the former Muslim faith of Count Kutaissov before his baptism. Ivan Kutaissov received various orders, including the Order of St. Andrew and even the Order of Malta despite his non-christian birth. In 1801, the Emperor presented him with the estates of Old and New Rahden in Curland.