The Rare Art Piece Was Traced Back to Its Manufacturer
When examining the Mining Museum's collections, the academic staff members discovered a carved vase of grey spotted stone. The research was carried out, and based on its results, the object was found to be an example of the rarest lapidary works, dating back to the 18th century.
The vase has some defects - notably, the stone its leg made of has a crack in it, and probably that is why the valuable item was placed into the storage. This find led scientists to launch a scientific inquiry. They went through the archive records and thus found out when and how the masterpiece ended up in the Museum. It turned out that the vase was purchased for the collection in 1824.
The initial suggestion was that the vase was made at the Kolyvan Processing Plant in the eponymous village of Altai Krai, Russia. Thence it was acquired and moved to the Museum. However, the shape, stone processing characteristics, and, most importantly, the material itself caused the researchers to doubt their guess. The stone from which the vase was carved is by its origin from the Altai. And it is known under the name 'breccia'.
The true origins of the art object were determined by putting it through thorough analysis. It was revealed that the vase was cut at the Loktevskaya Factory, also located in Altai Krai. This factory is known through its one-piece vases carved according to the original drawings delivered from St Petersburg on the order of Peter Soimonov, the Head of the Mining School.
Nowadays most of the vases of this kind, exhibited in Russian museums, are mistakenly believed to be the works of the Kolyvan masters.
Studies undertaken by the Mining Museum's research staff will apparently lead to reexamining such items, with the purpose being to trace the original manufacturer. Vases produced at the Loktevskaya Factory are valued much higher compared to the Kolyvan ones due to their extreme scarcity - less than 300 pieces were made there.