Art Nouveau Imperial Russian silver opera purse from the reign of Czar Nicholas II and Czarina Alexandra Feodorovna. The purse is beautifully engraved with a spider on her web. The spider's body is set with an oval cabochon emerald and her head is a cabochon ruby. A finely detailed 18 karat yellow gold frog appears to be stalking the spider from the edge of her web. The front of the purse has an applied gold inscription, roughly translated as "Little Love", highlighted with a small cabochon sapphire. The interior pocket of the purse was just large enough to hold theatre tickets and perhaps an "emergency" ruble or two! Hallmarked with the Kokoshnik used in the Odessa region, 1896-1908, and also with an unidentified silversmith's mark (perhaps transliterated V.L.).
Origin: Odessa, Russia, 1896-1908. Condition: a few small dings, mostly along the top edge between the ends of the chain right where rings would hit when being carried; apparently there was another applied gold inscription on the back side that is now missing; the interior shows some wear, but is useable. Size (closed): 3-3/4" x 2" excluding chain handle.