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Title Military cauldron
Nationality Russian
Period c 1812

This fine bronze pot has a tinned finish inside and out and was bought from a family who had taken it from the French in the Napoleonic wars, allegedly brought back on the retreat from Moscow before being captured by the English. The pot has extensive neoclassical design elements, the feet even being decorated with a Father Thames type figure.

This would have been an officer's cooking utensil and has the badge of the imperial Russian double eagle with St Andrew's cross on its chest. This may be interpreted as being a variant of the Preobrajensky Guard Regiment badge, which features St Andrew crucified as the main portion. On the other side there is a shield showing what might be an angel holding a torch with a river at its feet.

The whole pot would appear to be a high quality lost wax casting and is approximately eight inches high.

An experienced cauldron collector has commented that 'the last copper alloy cast cauldrons [of European make] were produced in the early years of the 18th century (last dated 1712), because cheap cast iron cauldrons took the market ... The quality appears far better than most English ones and probably comparable with the best German castings.' No surprise, considering the influence of German industrial design in 18th-century Russia.

If you want to comment on this item—re quality, age, etc—please email me.

[Militaria : Equipment : Russian : 19th Century]


[From a vendor, rather than a buyer]

I'm delighted that you are happy with the badge and I hope you can sell it to someone who will value owning it.

I tried to sell it on eBay but they won't accept Nazi items. I then contacted several dealers via a Google search who mostly offered me £40-£50 after some haggling. Most of the other dealers tried to conceal its true value in their replies and also lacked manners which doesn't inspire confidence.

Ultimately it's about trust. I should think that most prospective sellers have done their own research and therefore know roughly what their item is worth. You were the only dealer who had the integrity to concede that my valuation was approximately correct and I respect your comment that you can't offer this as you need to make a profit. Your honest approach is greatly appreciated and I felt comfortable taking the risk in sending it to you.

Thank you for a smooth transaction

C D, UK, 01.07.2015

Just a brief note to confirm that the sabre has been delivered today. All is as it should be. I have to say I’m impressed with the ‘custom’ packaging, obviously essential in your line of business. I have made a very quick inspection of the sword & it fully lives up to your accurate description, very pleased with the purchase.

M B, UK, 18.06.2015