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#Exhibit of the Month

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The exposed object, an "askos" type ceramic vessel, comes from the tumulus necropolis near the village of Ciumai, Taraclia district. The vessel was discovered in 2015 in a cenotaph tomb attributed to the Jamnaja culture, dated to the early Bronze Age (ca. 3300-2600 BC).

The vessel, with an obviously asymmetrical configuration, is hand-moulded from quality clay paste, having a smooth brown surface with gray spots. The body of the vessel is provided with a pronounced protrusion and a truncated neck with a wider opening towards the mouth. The vessel has a stem and is ornamented with three pairs of symmetrically placed relief appliqués. The height of the bowl is 15.5 cm, the diameter of the mouth is 11.4 cm, the diameter of the body is 15 cm and the diameter of the base is 7.5 cm. Such vessels in the archaeological literature are known as "askos" vessels, the respective term being of ancient Greek origin, denoting one of the primitive containers of the period - the bellows made of animal skin.

In prehistoric times, among some peoples, the bellows was transposed into ceramics, in these cases the basic features of the archaic leather vessel were preserved, acquiring a prominent convex shape with a stem and a flat bottom. From the original appearance of the bellows, the asymmetric mouth corresponding to the animal's neck has been preserved, and sometimes three or four legs, corresponding to the appendages of the flayed skin from the animal's legs. These vessels have lost their original zoomorphic character, entering as a new form in the inventory of Neo-Eneolithic ceramics. The first vessels of this type are attested in Greece, in the early Neolithic (ca. 5000-4500 BC) having the shape of cups or cups. In the Neo-Eneolithic Carpatho-Balkan cultures, the type of Aegean askos of short or tall form, with or without legs and with a handle, is found. Less often, they are provided with two mouths (one for filling and one for emptying) or they are off-center and provided with strangely shaped mouths. In the space between the Carpathians and the Dnieper, only tall forms of simple askos, without zoomorphic elements, are known. Askos-type vessels are present in various prehistoric cultures, especially in Southeast Europe and Anatolia.

Being often discovered in association with cult inventory, askos vessels could be an important indicator of use in religious ritual practices. Along with the zoomorphic, anthropomorphic and rhyton-type vessels (roughly conical container from which, in some ceremonies, liquids were drunk or poured), the askos were included in the category of vessels intended for worship, being related to libations (ritual act that consisted of tasting and then pouring a cup of wine, milk, etc. as homage to the deity).

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Publications Journal „Tyragetia"   vol. IX [XXIV], nr. 2


Cloisonné enamels from the former collection Alexander Zwenigorodsky and a new book by Ljudmila Pekarska, Jewellery of Princely Kiev. The Kiev Hoards in the British Museum and the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Related Material
ISSN 1857-0240
E-ISSN 2537-6330

Cloisonné enamels from the former collection Alexander Zwenigorodsky and a new book by Ljudmila Pekarska, Jewellery of Princely Kiev. The Kiev Hoards in the British Museum and the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Related Material

Tyragetia, serie nouă, vol. IX [XXIV], nr. 2, Istorie. Muzeologie Chișinău, 2015

Abstract

In 2011, a monograph long anticipated by art historians with an expertise in Old Russian and Byzantine art was published by Ljudmila Pekarska. The main subject of the monograph - the history of a hoard of jewellery found in Kiev in 1906, and as luck would have it is today divided between the British Museum and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

The author, however, did not limit her study to the analysis of objects from this hoard. She used an extensive amount of comparative materials from collections in many Western, Ukrainian, and Russian museums. L. Pekarska focuses mainly on the cloisonné enamels, an impressive example of exquisite medieval luxury. Welcoming the publication of this book, and being interested in the research, as well as its author, I do not envy the hard work that it would take for a person to write a scholarly review on this publication. The book contains so many specific features, so many politicized statements, so many altered facts that an unprepared reader, and even a professional, will not always be able to understand these "sleights of hand". For this reason, I chose only three pages from the book of Ljudmila Pekarska that discuss a collection of cloisonné enamels of Alexandr Zvenigorodsky and its fate (now almost the entire collection is kept in the Metropolitan Museum of Art). I hope that my article will help the reader in understanding the nuances of L. Pekarska's book and, besides that, offers the reader more detailed information about the unique collection of Zvenigorodsky and the reasons it is now in Western museums. In this article, the author includes biographical facts about Alexander Zvenigorodsky; it shines a light on the history of Zvenigorodsky's ownership of the cloisonné enamels, and criminal origin of the collection taken from Georgian monasteries. Also included is information on the publication of the collection by its owner - the famous book issued in three languages in 200 copies each: in Russian, in German, and in French. The book has long since become a rare example of the highest quality of printing and refined luxury. A considerable attention is paid to the fate of the collection after the death of its owner; the reason it was secretly sold to John Pierpont Morgan; a negative role in this sale of the infamous collector Michail Botkin. A seemingly private matter about Zvenigorodsky's collection of enamels has raised numerous problems of ethical, methodological, and, in some degree, even cultural and political nature.

List of illustrations:
Photo 1. Cover of Ljudmila Pekarska's book. Photo 2. Alexander Zvenigorodsky.
Photo 3. Nikodim Kondakov.
Photo 4. Title page of N. Kondakov's book on Zvenigorodsky's collection.
Photo 5. Byzantine cloisonné medallions from the former collection of Alexander Zvenigorodsky, end of the 10th - early 12th century. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.
Photo 6. Michail Botkin.
Photo 7. John Pierpont Morgan.

Юрий А. Пятницкий
Coptic textile from Count Alexey Bobrinsky's collection in the State Hermitage: the history of one mistake
Tyragetia, serie nouă, vol. X [XXV], nr. 2, Istorie. Muzeologie
Юрий А. Пятницкий
Old Russian art on the shores of Seine. Some notes on the "Holy Russia: Russian Art from the beginning to the times of Peter the Great" exhibition in the Louvre in 2010
Tyragetia, serie nouă, vol. VI [XXI], nr. 2, Istorie. Muzeologie
Всеволод Образцов, Юрий А. Пятницкий
Holy images on blades: unique swords from the State Hermitage Museum (preliminary publication)
Tyragetia, serie nouă, vol. VII [XXII], nr. 2, Istorie. Muzeologie
Андрей Крупенко, Юрий А. Пятницкий
Restoration and attribution of The Virgin of Tenderness (a new acquisition of the Byzantine collection of the Hermitage Museum)
Tyragetia, serie nouă, vol. X [XXV], nr. 2, Istorie. Muzeologie



 

 

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#Exhibit of the Month

The exposed object, an "askos" type ceramic vessel, comes from the tumulus necropolis near the village of Ciumai, Taraclia district. The vessel was discovered in 2015 in a cenotaph tomb attributed to the Jamnaja culture, dated to the early Bronze Age (ca. 3300-2600 BC)...

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The National Museum of History of Moldova takes place among the most significant museum institutions of the Republic of Moldova, in terms of both its collection and scientific reputation.
©2006-2024 National Museum of History of Moldova
Visit museum 31 August 1989 St., 121 A, MD 2012, Chisinau, Republic of Moldova
Phones:
Secretariat: +373 (22) 24-43-25
Department of Public Relations and Museum Education: +373 (22) 24-04-26
Fax: +373 (22) 24-43-69
E-mail: office@nationalmuseum.md
Technical Support: info@nationalmuseum.md
Web site administration and maintenance: Andrei EMILCIUC

 



The National Museum of History of Moldova takes place among the most significant museum institutions of the Republic of Moldova, in terms of both its collection and scientific reputation.
©2006-2024 National Museum of History of Moldova
Visit museum 31 August 1989 St., 121 A, MD 2012, Chisinau, Republic of Moldova
Phones:
Secretariat: +373 (22) 24-43-25
Department of Public Relations and Museum Education: +373 (22) 24-04-26
Fax: +373 (22) 24-43-69
E-mail: office@nationalmuseum.md
Technical Support: info@nationalmuseum.md
Web site administration and maintenance: Andrei EMILCIUC

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The National Museum of History of Moldova takes place among the most significant museum institutions of the Republic of Moldova, in terms of both its collection and scientific reputation.
©2006-2024 National Museum of History of Moldova
Visit museum 31 August 1989 St., 121 A, MD 2012, Chisinau, Republic of Moldova
Phones:
Secretariat: +373 (22) 24-43-25
Department of Public Relations and Museum Education: +373 (22) 24-04-26
Fax: +373 (22) 24-43-69
E-mail: office@nationalmuseum.md
Technical Support: info@nationalmuseum.md
Web site administration and maintenance: Andrei EMILCIUC