Paneled Cup Decorated with Geometric Ornament and Human Faces from Kosheleva


The hoard was discovered in the village of Kosheleva (Кошелева) in 1899 along the rocky terraces on the right bank of the Sylva River at a place known as the ‘Dalmatova Mountain’ (Leshchenko 1971, 276). Kosheleva was then located in the Krasnoufimskii County (Красноуфимский Уезд) of the Perm Governorate (Пермская Губерния) of the Russian Empire. The two vessels were first in the personal collections of Ivan Grigor’evich Kamenskii, head of the Suksun factories, who purchased the bottle for 25 rubles, and a Mr. Bazhin, a craftsman at a Suksun factory, who purchased this cup for 5 rubles (Trever and Lukonin 1987, 124). The Archaeological Commission found out about the discovery through the Governor (Gubernator) of Perm and sent out archaeologist Nikolai Nikiforovich Novokreshchennykhto survey the area and acquire the vessels. Kamenskii asked the value of the vessels, and the Archaeological Commission said 300 rubles; Kamenskii also wrote to the Moscow History Museum for an appraisal, and they told him the vessels were forgeries. University-educated Kamenskii did not want to give up the vessels for a mere 300 rubles, so the Commission asked if there could offer an artist object made by the Imperial Porcelain Factory, Saint Petersburg or the Peterhof Lapidary Factory. Kamenskii agreed to send the vessels for a quartz and jasper pedestal decorated with the Imperial coat of arm in exchange for the vessels. The Imperial Hermitage Museum received both of the vessels in 1901. The bottle is housed in the renamed State Hermitage Museum with the number S-39.

Kosheleva is presently a village just outside of the town of Suksun in Suksunskii District (Суксунский Район), Perm Province/Krai (Пермский Край), Russian Federation.

Technical Notes

silver / 8 cm diameter x 6.4 cm height

Major Eurasian Silver Publications

Darkevich, V. P. Khudozhestvennyi metall Vostoka VIII-XIII vv.: proizvedeniia vostochnoi torevtiki na territorii evropeiskoi chasti SSSR i Zaural’ia. Moscow: Nauka, 1976. [T. 18, 2-4 № 18]

Marshak, B. I. Istoriia vostochnoi torevtiki III-XIII vv. i problemy kul’turnoi preemstvennosti. Saint Petersburg: Akademiia Issledovaniia Kul’tury, 2017. [ris. 49-50,73]

Marshak (Marschak), B. I. Silberschätze des Orients: Metallkunst des 3.-13. Jahrhunderts und Ihre Kontinuität. Leipzig: E.A. Seemann, 1986. [№ 49-50]

Marshak, B. I. Sogdiiskoe serebro: ocherki po vostochnoi torevtike. Moscow: Nauka, 1971. [T. 26]

Orbeli, I. A., and K. V. Trever. Sasanidskii metall khudozhestvennye predmenty iz zolota, serebra, i bronzy. Moscow-Leningrad: Akademiia, 1935. [T. 56]

Smirnov, Ia. I. Vostochnoe serebro: atlasʺ drevnei serebrianoi i zolotoi posudy vostochnago proiskhozhdeniia naidennoi preimushchestvenno vʺ prědelakhʺ Rossiiskoi imperii. Saint Petersburg: Publishing House of the Imperial Archaeological Commission, 1909. [T. LXVII № 114]

Additional Bibliography

Marshak, B. I. Iskusstvo Sogda. Saint Petersburg: State Hermitage Publishing House, 1999.

Otchet Imperatorskoi Arkheologicheskoi Komissii za 1900. Saint Petersburg: Tipografiia glavnogo upravleniia udelov, 1902.

Image Credits

Featured Image

B. I. Marshak, Iskussto Sogda (Saint Petersburg: State Hermitage Publishing House, 1999), p. 56.

Pages Images

(1-2) B. I. Marshak, Iskusstvo Sogda (Saint Petersburg: State Hermitage Publishing House, 1999), p. 56.

(3) Author’s own photograph

(4) B. I. Marshak, Sogdiiskoe serebro: ocherki po vostochnoi torevtike (Moscow: Nauka, 1971), T. 26.