Plate Decorated with a Cross from Klimova


On June 8th, 1907, Kseniia Fedorovna Klimova found five vessels– a bucket, a plate decorated with a rosette (which she described as the bucket’s lid) and three other plates– in a pit along a trail between the villages of Klimova (Климова) and Bol’shaia Serva (Большая Серва) in the Solikamskii County (Соликамский Уезд) of the Perm Governorate (Пермская Губерния) of the Russian Empire. A few days later, on June 16th, Petr Kirillovich Klimov (not her husband, perhaps related) found another three vessels in a different pit along the same trail (Trever and Lukonin 1987, 125). The pits were extremely close to one another on a terrace known as Niur-Gep (Darkevich 1976, 23). In exchange for 400 and 500 rubles, respectively, the Perm Gubernator sent the vessels to the Imperial archaeological Commission in August (Trever and Lukonin 1987, 125). The Commission then gave the eight vessels found near Klimova to the Imperial Hermitage Museum in 1908. The plate is still housed in the renamed State Hermitage Museum with the number ω-192.

In the 1960s Vasilii Leshchenko located this terrace which is about 1 kilometer east of Dzerzhinskaia Street in Kudymkar), and 1 kilometer north of Klimova, then an outer neighborhood of Kudymkar. Klimova fell off of map labels ca. 2000. Klimova– now within Kudymkar– is located in the Kudymkarskii District (Кудымкарский Район), Perm Province/Krai (Пермский край), Russian Federation.

Inscription & Other Marking Notes

Five different control stamps– monograms and busts– on the base of the vessel, within the foot ring. The stamps date the vessel to after ca. 605 CE (Dodd 1961, 133). Also, the floral wreath around the cross on the front of the plate cuts into the cross stamps, showing that the stamps were pressed before the imagery was created (Matsulevich 1929, 296).

Technical Notes

silver with gilding and niello / 45 cm diameter / 2294 g weight

Major Eurasian Silver Publications

*Only mentioned in itemized  lists in K. V. Trever and V. G. Lukonin, Sasanidskoe serebro: sobranie Gosudarstvennogo Ermitazha: khudozhestvenniia kul’tura Irana III-VIII vekov (Moscow: Iskusstvo, 1987), 125; V. P. Darkevich, Khudozhestvennyi metall Vostoka VIII-XIII vv.: proizvedeniia vostochnoi torevtiki na territorii evropeiskoi chasti SSSR i Zaural’ia (Moscow: Nauka, 1976), 23.

Additional Bibliography

Dodd, Erica Cruikshank. Byzantine Silver Stamps. Washington, D.C.: Dumbarton Oaks, 1961. 

Matsulevich (Matzulewitsch), Leonid. Byzantinische Antike: Studien auf Grund der Silbergefässe der Ermitage. Berlin; Leipzig: W. de Gruyter & Co., 1929.

Otchet Imperatorskoi Arkheologicheskoi Komissii za 1907. Saint Petersburg: Tipografiia glavnogo upravleniia udelov, 1910.

Image Credits

Featured Image

State Hermitage Museum Website

Page Images

(1) State Hermitage Museum Website

(2) Erica Cruikshank Dodd, Byzantine Silver Stamps (Washington, D.C.: Dumbarton Oaks, 1961), № 36.