A rare Romanov-era Russian silver letter opener or paper knife from the period of Tsar Nicholas II, the handle which features a repoussé silver bust of Count Leo Tolstoy with a flowing beard is probably based on the enclosed photograph of the author (not included). The paper knife was created by the famous pre-revolutionary Russian silversmiths Khlebnikov and Sons in Moscow.
Stamped with the imperial warrant of Khlebnikov, Moscow, 1908-17
-9 ¼ in. (23.5 cm) long; 127.5 grams, 4.1 troy ounces. The wooden display: 11 x 3 x 1 1/2 in. (27.9 x 7.6 x 3.8 cm) (l x w x h)
Count Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910), famous author of War and Peace considered by many readers to be the best novel ever written enjoyed an enormous following but was plagued by self-doubt throughout his life. This paper knife was created by Khlebnikov in Moscow upon Tolstoy’s death of pneumonia in 1910. Sold with custom made wooden holder.
For more information on the imperial silversmith Khlebnikov see, Beyond Fabergé: Imperial Russian Jewelry by Marie Betteley and David Schimmelpenninck van der Oye, Schiffer Publishing, 2020.