A pair of large Russian ewers
A pair of large Russian gilt and patinated bronze ewers
Height: 56 cm. (22 in.) Width: 26 cm. (10 ¼ in.) Depth: 16 cm. (6 ¼ in.)
Width and depth of bases: 13 cm. (5 in.)
Count Józef August Ilinski (1766-1844), Palace of Romanow, Volhynia, Ukraine
By descent to his great-granddaughter, Rognieda Stecki, Countess Zamoyski (1885-1922)
Her son, Count Tomasz Zamoyski (1909-1995)
The design of these exceptionally large ewers relates to Claude Galle’s ‘maiden’ vases and popular series of ewers, examples of which can be found at Pavlovsk Palace and are illustrated in H. Ottomeyer and P. Pröschel, Vergoldete Bronzen, Munich, 1986, vol. I, figs. 5.12.6 and 5.12.9, pp. 364-365.
Józef August Ilinski was a Polish nobleman, who supported the Russian presence in the country and who became extremely close to Emperor Paul I. Made a count by the emperor in 1779, he was raised to chamberlain in 1793 and was also senator and part of his council.
As one of the richest men in the territories of the former Commonwealth, Count Ilinski built an enormous palace to match his fortune and position at his family estate, Romanow, in the region of Volhynia, now in Ukraine. This classical building was started in the 1790s and was lavishly furnished with many gifts from the Emperor and a collection of important Old Master paintings.
Burnt down in 1876, its impressive appearance is recorded in an undated print by the German artist Carl Gregor Täubert (1778-1861). There is also a watercolour of an interior view of the Drawing Room which appears to show this pair of ewers.