Finift Enamel

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Finift Mirror Chronicles from the Ipatjev monastery recorded the existence of Russian Enamels as early as 1175. In those days coloured enamels were valued because of their exquisite beauty and very high prices were paid for them. The production technique was borrowed from Byzantium but as time went on, the art of enamelling acquired traditionally Russian features. The name of the technique came from the Greek word "fingitis" (i.e. white stone), then it changed to "finipt" and then to "finift".

Needle Holder The base of enamel is copper plate. In Rostov enamel powder is laid on the surface of the plate by pulverizing and several coats can be built up before the plate is placed in a kiln. After being treated at a high temperature the powder changes into a layer of sparkling colours. The magic of this transformation and the purity and transparency of enamel colours make these works of art unforgettable.

The old Russian town of Rostov has always been famous for its artistic tradition. The 18th century saw a flourishing of the art of enamelling and ever since the enamels produced in Rostov are called "Rostov finift". They include beautiful panels, boxes and caskets, delicate bracelets, necklaces, brooches, rings and earrings, all with rich colour schemes so typical of Rostov enamels. Fine filigree of silver-plated copper and silver are designed to help the viewer feel the warmth of skilful workmanship, rare and valuable in this technological age.

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