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"Hunting behind a stone" in the Russian advertizing of the 18th century



anatoly CHEBOTARYOV

"Hunting behind a stone" in the Russian advertizing of the 18th century

Concerning precious and ornamental stones the first in Russia A.E. Fersman who in a number of the books excitedly told about search of various minerals and rocks began to use the word "stone", calling it "hunting behind a stone". Search of precious and semiprecious stones in the Urals was one of the known crafts which gave an impetus to amateur collecting of precious and semiprecious stones in Russia.

In Russia it is possible to speak about blossoming of collecting and broad collecting since government of Catherine II who was a keen collector, and this her hobby was picked up by court and other wealthy people of that era. Keen collecting of gemstones and products from them became the most widespread type of collecting of that time among wealthy people of the 18th century

Replenishment of collections was carried out in various ways. Many gemstones in Russia did not get, and brought them from abroad. A specific place in the 18th century was held by pearls. The Russian pearls which were extracted in the rivers of Veliky Novgorod were known in Russia long ago. In the 18th century active attempts of commercial production of pearls were made. It is known that from 1721 to 1731 in the Novgorod province only 4936 pearls were got. Therefore in 1736 the senatorial decree which said was published on March 18: "About a permission it is free to catch in the rivers and lakes absolutely pospely pearls to present the caught good pearls at written announcements in the cities to voivodes and managers where to whom is more capable, for sending to Kommerts-board from which and to objyavitel the due award" 1 will be appointed. Providing free extraction of pearls removed from the state of expense for this work, "taka from this pearl catching through ten-year time not tokmo what arrived, but also for

1 A.E. Fersman. Essays on stone stories. - in 2 t., t. 1. - M.: Academy of Sciences of the USSR, 1954, p.

the sum of it used on that it is not received" 1. The decree permitted "to catch pearls in the rivers and lakes in whose it dachas were, nevozbranno... and... that they, hunters, took out those pearls such which will already absolutely ripen, and to governors and voivodes and other managers in that catching of offenses and oppressions by it not to repair" 1.

About origin of pearls, its features as to a jewelry and its production various messages were published. So, wrote the Academic news about origin of pearls as pearls are extracted, it was described in the pocket calendar, and the Sankt-Peterburgskiye Vedomosti newspaper in 1817 wrote about catching of pearls

About acquisition of pearls announcements were published. So, one of the first announcements of sale of pearls was published in 1754 in "The St. Petersburg sheets": "... the pearl grains which are available in Bergkollegiya, the person interested to buy, be in the marked office" 2. The pearls which were in high demand were subdivided into a number of grades depending on size and the place of production, there were pearls burmitsky, oriyentalsky, kafimsky and Ladoga.

Sometimes sale of pearls went in bulk, as a rule, it was the confiscation: "Is on sale to pearls oriyentalsky, large, equal, on a neck and hands, to pearls of kafimsky large 13 valve cores burmits-whom on a neck a thread"; "Will be on sale confiscated different grades pearls: large 33 bunches or sheaf weighing 8 f.; average of 49 bunches or sheaves weighing 15 f. 84 z., small 56 bunches or sheaves weighing 17 f. 60 z., and only 138 bunches, weighing 41 f. 48 valve cores".

But special popularity among gemstones, undoubtedly, had diamonds. In those days there were no shops on sale and buying up of jewelry, business was most often done at home what it was reported in the announcement about:

1 In the same place.
2 St. Petersburg sheets, No. 22, 1754.
3

A.E. Fersman. Decree. soch., p. 111.

"Persons interested to sell a diamond thing with color stones are kind within this month to announce this through Vedomosti, having marked a part, quarter and house number in which those things are, and time when it is possible to see them" 1.

Professional jewelers and carvers of a stone advertized and traded in gemstones at home. So, a certain Johann Seydel gave the following announcement in the newspaper: "Before recent time there arrived from Vienna of diamond things a reshchik here Johann Anton Franz Seydel who is able to grind any diamond things and any expensive stones and pearls, on them to cut and to fix them, and he lives with the jeweler Pozye". In the Northern Capital the visitors of the master offered the services in production of a jewelry and a facet of stones and also sold finished products. Certain jewelers in hope to sell in Russia stones for higher price brought a significant amount of jewelry. The number of jewelers and gem cutters who came to Russia on earnings from 1750 to 1800 according to A.E. Fersman, was more than 2,000 people. To fill up the meetings with products from a stone and jewelry collectors and wealthy people could on official sales of forfeits. The Office of confiscations advertized in these sales. So, in the announcement of January 18, 1740 it was reported: "By definition of Office of confiscations of Vedeno to sell the different being diamond things in it, namely: skladn with big and small stones, crosses, carnelians and stones red, white, azure and other flowers, large and small emeralds, crystals, pendants, tryasulk, birdies and other figures, snuffboxes, earrings, rings, cuff links, buttons with yakhonta, paws, diamonds and other stones. These things will be on sale on every week on twice, namely on Wednesday and Friday" 3. As a rule, such announcements on -

1 St. Petersburg sheets, No. 18, 1792.
2 St. Petersburg sheets, No. 11, 1753.
3 St. Petersburg sheets, No. 15, 1740.

vtoryalis three times.

In 1762 the sale of property of Bestuzhev-Ryumina was organized. The public for participation was invited the announcement of the following contents: "Next March of the 5th sale will begin with the public bargaining to different things diamond and gold, yako in the house of the former chancellor Bestuzhev-Ryumina: to hours, cases of drawing instruments, diamond chains, earrings, feathers, snuffboxes and different silver will also proceed twice a week on Mondays and chetvertka at the beginning of the 4th hour after midday" 1. The late property of Bestuzhev-Ryumina was sold in the auction camera what it was notified in the announcement on: "In the auction camera public sale of the former chancellor Bestuzhev-Ryumina to the things consisting of a rich men's dress and gold snuffboxes, the hours showered with expensive stones tryasulek and other things showered with diamonds to proceed has every week on Mondays and chetvertka".

Products from gemstones were on sale not only at home, but also in Office of economy, in the Justice of deanery and at the exchange what it was reported in short announcements about: "The charm, prinsmetallovy rings with stones, the silver watch, hour chains, snuffboxes will be on sale from public to the bargaining at the exchange of different grades". If the died residents of St. Petersburg did not have relatives, then their property was on sale at the public auction what it was also reported in the newspaper announcement about.

Commission agents and komissionersh which often operated with a significant amount of products and the large sums were one of the most widespread dealers in gemstones and products. So, Anna Kantserovich had the following products which she took on realization: a ring - 1,500 rub; a ring with diamonds on the 10th carat - 2,000 rub; earrings - 2,500 rub and other products for the sum of 2,700 rub

For sale from an auction the obligatory publication of the announcement in the newspaper of the forthcoming auction was assumed. So, selling a product from amber (yan-

1 St. Petersburg sheets, No. 22, 1762.

a tare altar), the auctioneer Joachim Heinrich Kenke gave in 1757 in the Sankt-Peterburgskiye Vedomosti newspaper twenty three announcements from which 4 2 and 3 times repeated. About activity of sales by auctioneers it is possible to judge by the number of announcements which they gave in the newspaper. The auctioneer Hans G enry Sutgof (Sutov) who traded in products with stones and from a stone from 1751 to 1755 gave in the Sankt-Peterburgskiye Vedomosti newspaper of 157 announcements: on 37 announcements in 1751 and 1752; on 28 - in 1753 and 1754; 27 - in 1755, some announcements were repeated several times.

Thus, collecting of precious and semiprecious stones created demand for these goods. Foreign merchants, jewelers began to offer products and stones in large numbers, using for this purpose the Sankt-Peterburgskiye Vedomosti newspaper. A variety of advertisers of these announcements demonstrates that the necessity in such information was caused not only by requirements of the law on auction sale, but also aspiration of sellers to give advertizing to the goods.

Anatoly Mikhaylovich CHEBOTARYOV is the doctoral candidate of MosGU

John Maximillian
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