Hillwood Mansion, Liturgical Gallery
Buch, Iver Winfeldt
RUSSIA: Saint Petersburg
Gold, diamonds, chalcedony, bloodstone, nephrite, carnelian, cast glass
H. 13 in., Dia. 7 in. (bowl)
In December 1790, Catherine the Great commissioned Iver Windfeldt Buch to produce two liturgical sets, each comprising a chalice and several other pieces necessary for celebrating the divine liturgy. One of these sets was intended for the Dormition Cathedral in the Moscow Kremlin. Catherine presented the other set, which included this chalice, to the Trinity Cathedral in the Aleksandr Nevskii Monastery in St. Petersburg on August 29, 1791. To construct the set, Catherine provided Buch with gold and diamonds from the State Treasury; carved gems representing scenes from the life of Christ, saints, and angels, which came from her private collection. Of the gems, a thirteenth-century Byzantine cameo of the Archangel Michael is the oldest. The remaining ones are mostly seventeenth- and eighteenth-century examples, some no doubt contemporary with the chalice.
Bequest of Marjorie Merriweather Post, 1973