Important and rare bronze and black marble writing set with bears at rest decor. The set consists of a desk-top blotter, a card holder, an inkwell and a pen holder.
The large inkwell features a lying adult bear. In front of him, a tree trunk is an ink reservoir where two bear cubs play.
The small inkwell is in the same spirit, with a smaller bear, figured in a different position.
Both bears are known models made by the great Russian sculptor Nikolai Iwanowitsch Lieberich and realized by the bronze manufacturer Woerffel in St. Petersburg which is "Official Imperial Supplier" in 1895. The Great Bear model was designed in 1866.
This complete writing set, with a superb bronze chiseling, is quite exceptional and extremely rare. It was probably made around 1880-1890 by Woerffel foundry.
See illustrations in the book "Николай Либерих. 1828–1883" published in 2012 at Palace Editions.
Nikolai Iwanowitsch Lieberich :
Born in 1828 and died in St. Petersburg in 1883, Lieberich is one of the greatest animal sculptors of the Russian-19th century. Born in a Russian-German Lutheran family, Lieberich first became involved in a military career. By 1861, he was admitted to the Imperial Academy of Arts in St. Petersburg and studied under Baron Peter Clodt von Jürgensburg (Pyotr Karlovich Klodt) supervision. He specializes in animal sculpture and hunting scenes. Regularly rewarded, he was invited in 1865 by Emperor Alexander II to participate at the hunts of the court. On this occasion, he created a series of hunting scenes bronze sculptures. He is famous for his animal statuettes in bronze, horses, dogs, wolves and many models with bears.