Important Silversmiths – Ivan Khlebnikov
Ivan Khlebnikov (in Russian: Иван Хлебников)was born in St. Petersburg, son of a diamond and jewellery merchant. By 1865 he had his own jewellery firm, where he employed his sons Mikhail, Alexei and Nikolai.
In 1871 Ivan opened a factory in Moscow, employing around 200 artisans.
Within the premises of his factory he also opened a school of design and sculpture for thirty-five students.
Khlebnikov received several commissions from the Imperial family and in 1872 he was appointed official purveyor of Grand Duke Konstantin Nikolaevich.
His artworks were displayed in several International Exhibitions, such as the one in Vienna in 1873 where he won two medals.
The firm’s popularity grew and Khlebnikov was appointed a royal warrant by the sovereigns of Denmark, Netherlands, Serbia and Montenegro. In 1879 he was awarded the title of official supplier to the Imperial court of Russia.
At Ivan’s death in 1881, his sons took over the business, employed more craftsmen and expanded the company buying Sazikov factories and shops.
The company was closed and nationalised in 1918, with the outbreak of the Russian Revolution.
Khlebnikov artworks were acclaimed for their fine decorative enamel work and the traditional Russian style. The company worked in all kinds of enamel, especially plique-à-jour and cloisonné, and reinterpreted the traditional Russian folk art through original and unique designs, a colorful palette and great mastery of execution.