An Important Large, Heavy Nielloed, Enamelled and Parcel-Gilt Silver Caucasian Footed Jewellery Casket, Dagestan-The Republic of Russia, or Kokand-Uzbekistan, Circa 19th. Century.

Identification Number: 585


The silversmith master who had done this rather very unusual and beautiful casket had tried to show his outstanding talent and expertise by employing various types of techniques to achieve this masterpiece.

The reason why we are more prone to think that this piece was made by a Caucasian master rather than a master from the other Central Asian silversmithing centres which also lies on the silk road is the huge similarities of the techniques and the decoration used in the Caucasian silversmithing.

The only one similarity that do exist in our present lot which is used in the other centres of Bukhara or Kokand is the use of the geometrical rhombus and the triangle motifs which can be seen clearly in our current lot, please see lot our third reference book used, A song in Metal, Folk Art of Uzbekistan, Please see the enamelled silver casket made in the 19th. Century in Kokand-Uzbekistan; lot no. 37 illustrated on page 67.


Although both the Caucasian and the Central-Asian silversmiths do use both techniques of nielloware and the enamelling of silver, but when in it comes to mixing the two techniques together in making one particular silver item, the Central-Asian silversmiths tend to use more colourful glass-based enamelling with a little bit of nielloware where as the Caucasian silversmith centres tend to do the opposite just like in our current lot.  

For comparison to other related works exhibited on the reference book of Searching for lost Relics, by Isa Askhabov & Khamzat Askhabov, Cultural Heritage, please note the similar nielloed silver decoration executed on the handle of the Caucasian cane with a blade, please notice the blossoming flower with seven petals and circle in the middle, the item is catalogued on page 87.

For the zigzag motif which is usually used to decorate the borders, please notice the similarities to various items such as the borders of the Dagestan pistols illustrated in the above reference on pages 92-93.

In regards to the raised arabesque and floral motifs located at the centre of both the geometrical rhombus and the triangle shapes, this can easily be found on the majority of Caucasian daggers, please see the related examples catalogued on pages 100 & 101.

In regards to the blue enamelled series of leaning leaves which can be found at the top borders of the casket, please notice the identical decoration found at the same above reference on the Caucasian dagger illustrated on page 107.

In regards to the colourful enamelling used, please see the nielloed and enamelled dagger illustrated on pages 388 & 389.

For another related Tbilisi enamelled silver dagger please see the other reference book used of the Arms and Armour of the Caucasus, catalogued on page 100.


16 cm is the height.
19 cm is the highest point of the slightly domed lid.
28.8 cm is the width of the casket’s top.
31 cm is the width at the casket’s base.
20.3 cm the depth.


Some Silver gilding and enamelling losses, in some small areas there is a bit of irregularity to the surface of the originally added enamelled silver pieces, in the past and due to the high quality and beauty of our current lot someone had stamped the silver casket with the Russian imperial silver marks of Fabergé which we think it’s totally irrelevant but it’s a part of this piece’s history.


The European Art Market.


For various related Caucasian and Dagestani silversmithing, please see

Searching for lost Relics, by Isa Askhabov, Khamzat Askhabov, Cultural Heritage, 2016, ISBN: 978-5-4444-5509-8.

Arms and Armor of the Caucasus, by Kirill Rivkin, 2015, ISBN: 978-0-692-49481-3.

For related Central-Asian enamelled silver caskets with geometrical motifs, please see:

A song in Metal, Folk Art of Uzbekistan, by T. Abdullayev, D. Fakhretdinova, A. Khakimov, Tashkent, Gafur Gulyam Art and Literature Publishers, 1986,
Please see the two enamelled silver caskets made in the 19th. Century and the early 20th. Century in Kokand-Uzbekistan; lot nos. 34 & 37 illustrated on pages 66 & 67.

Related Antiques

  • A Rare Caucasian Nielloed Silver Inkwell Fitted on a Rectangular Footed Tray Decorated with Arabesque Motives and Inscribed in Arabic, Signed and dated by the Master, Dagestan-The Republic of Russia.