In the summer of 1927, a shepherd named Andrei and his grandson, Ivanko, found a hoard of silver vessels while searching for one of the village cows that went missing. Ivanko fell into a hole while walking along the edge of a forest near Turushevy (Турушевы). Turushevy, located along the right bank of the Kama River, was then called Turushevo (Турушево) and located in the Omutninskii County (Омутнинский Уезд) of the Viatka Governorate (Вятская Губерния) of the early Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic. In this hole, Ivanko found a large silver bucket holding four plates (this one decorated with a rosette, as well as with a royal hunt, a story of Bahrām Gōr, and a cross), two multi-spouted vessels (decorated with an elephant, and different animals), and two torcs (grivnas) (Shmidt 1933, 25; Bortvin 1935, 3-5; Trever and Lukonin 1987, 126). Ivanko and his grandfather decided to give their neighbors, the Shiriaevs, the vessels because they could not find their lost cow. Ivan and Mar’ ia Shiriaev utilized the vessels for several years: the bucket became a pot for boiling pelmeni, the multi-spouted vessel with an elephant held salt, the multi-spouted vessel with different animals held fat, and the dish with the cross joined the icon corner. They cut up the grivnas to make nails for hanging horse equipment (Trever and Lukonin 1987, 126; Bortvin 1935, 6).
Some years later, the state land department’s housing proprietor noticed these vessels while in the village and notified the local museums, for which he was rewarded (Bortnin 1935, 7). State authorities then collected the vessels and took them to the Sverdlovsk Oblast’ Regional Museum in Ekaterinburg (then, the Ural Oblast’ State Museum in Sverdlovsk). The museum then transferred most of the items, including all four plates and the bucket, to the State Hermitage Museum in 1930. The multi-spouted vessel with different animals (and perhaps also that with the elephant?) was transferred later in 1935. The seven vessels from Turushevy are still in the State Hermitage Museum today; this plate has the number ω-389.
The village of Turushevy is presently located in the Afanas’evskii District (Афанасьевский Район), Kirov Province/Oblast’ (Кировская Область), Russian Federation.
Inscription & Other Marking Notes
Five control stamps– monograms and busts– on the base of the vessel, within a ring inside of the footring. The stamps date the vessel to the early reign of Heraclius (r. 613-629/30) (Dodd 1961, 206).
silver / 27.5 cm diameter / 1036.5 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), 126; V. P. Darkevich, Khudozhestvennyi metall Vostoka VIII-XIII vv.: proizvedeniia vostochnoi torevtiki na territorii evropeiskoi chasti SSSR i Zaural’ia (Moscow: Nauka, 1976), 10.
Bank, Alice V. Byzantine Art in the Collections of Soviet Museums. New York: H. N. Abrams, 1977.
Bortvin, N. N. “Po sledam vostochnykh karavanov.” Ural’skii Sledopyt 9/1935 (1935): 3-13.
Dodd, Erica Cruikshank. Byzantine Silver Stamps. Washington, D.C.: Dumbarton Oaks, 1961.
Shmidt, A. V. “Raboty po istorii material’noi kul’tury Urala za 15 let.” Problemy istorii material’noi kul’tury 9-10 (1933): 25.
State Hermitage Museum Website
(1) State Hermitage Museum Website
(2) Erica Cruikshank Dodd, Byzantine Silver Stamps (Washington, D.C.: Dumbarton Oaks, 1961), № 72.