The value placed on materials differs between cultures. In the West and in Asia, gold and precious stones are highly valued, costly, and therefore demonstrate their owners’ wealth, extravagance, and power. Combined with fine craftsmanship, these materials carry even greater meaning.
This gold and smoky topaz vase, made by one of the most renowned shops in Russia, was given by the Grand Duke Alexei Alexandrovich to Elizabeta Baletta, prima ballerina at the Imperial Mikhailovsky Theater in St. Petersburg. Its purpose was never to hold flowers, but to express the power and status of the giver and transfer wealth, in the form of a highly visible status symbol, to the recipient. In a little over a hundred years, the vase has moved from a royal patron to a celebrity, to a wealthy collector, and, ultimately, to public view at the Museum.
Topaz, copper alloy, and gold plating
Probably after 1896
7 7/8 x 4 7/16 x 3 13/16 in. (20 x 11.3 x 9.7 cm) (show scale)
"M11" on base
This item is not on view
Bequest of Helen Babbott Sanders
You may download and use Brooklyn Museum images of this three-dimensional work in accordance with a Creative Commons license
. Fair use, as understood under the United States Copyright Act, may also apply.
Please include caption information from this page and credit the Brooklyn Museum. If you need a high resolution file, please contact email@example.com
For further information about copyright, we recommend resources at the United States Library of Congress
, Cornell University
, Copyright and Cultural Institutions: Guidelines for U.S. Libraries, Archives, and Museums
, and Copyright Watch
For more information about the Museum's rights project, including how rights types are assigned, please see our blog posts on copyright
If you have any information regarding this work and rights to it, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Michael Evlampeivich Perchin (Russian, 1860-1903). Vase, Probably after 1896. Topaz, copper alloy, and gold plating, 7 7/8 x 4 7/16 x 3 13/16 in. (20 x 11.3 x 9.7 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Bequest of Helen Babbott Sanders, 78.129.18. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 78.129.18a-b_view1_SL1.jpg)
overall, 78.129.18a-b_view1_SL1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
"CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
Not every record you will find here is complete. More information is available for some works than for others, and some entries have been updated more recently. Records are frequently reviewed and revised, and we welcome
any additional information you might have.