Lot 20

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A BEAUTIFUL RUSSIAN ICON OF THE AKHTUIRSKAYA MOTHER OF GOD, ALEKSEI AFANASIEV, MOSCOW, 1778.  Here the Mother of God is shown praying before a miniature crucified Christ. The lower margin inscribed, "The true representation and measure of the Akhtuirskaya icon of the Mother of God, which appeared in the year 1739, month of July, the 2nd Day." The original icon appeared on July 2, 1739, when the priest Danill Vasiliev found it in the grass while mowing with a scythe.  In 1751, the icon was declared miraculous by the Holy Synod and soon after Empress Elizabeth donated money to help erect a church to house the icon, which accounts for the addition of the Imperial Double-Headed Eagle incorporated into the lower margin. It mysteriously disappeared in the first part of the 20th century and was reportedly returned in the year 2011 to the Novodevichy Convent in St. Petersburg, Russia by then President Dmitry Medvedev. The entire image overlaid with a heavy ornate gilded silver, repousse and chased riza embellished with paste stones and seed pearls. Hallmarked Moscow, dated 1778, and with maker's mark A.A., and the verso with old dedicatory dated inscriptions. 12.5 inches x 11 inches (32 x 28 cm).

Estimate:  $3,500 - 5,000   € 3,150 - 4,500
Price Realized: $5,000.00

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