The miniature of the Nashchokin House will be brought to Moscow from St Petersburg’s National Pushkin Museum for the first time since 1911.
This unique artefact will be exhibited temporarily at the Moscow State Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts as a kind of birthday gift: on 5 October, the famous building on Prechistenka will celebrate its 60th anniversary.
This is a miniature replica of a nobleman’s house from the 1820s-1830s, conceived by nobleman Pavel Nashchokin. The furniture and the utensils in the house, small as they may seem, can all be used for their intended purposes. The Centipede transformable table can be unfolded to three times its size, the cupboard drawers hold cutlery and the clock tells the time. A tenant can light candles on miniature chandeliers and floor lamps, read miniature books, shoot from miniature pistols and play the grand piano or billiards.
The idea of recreating a Moscow nobleman’s house with all its interior and utensils in miniature occurred to Pavel Nashchokin after he talked with his friend, poet Alexander Pushkin. The project cost Nashchokin 40,000 rubles. This was an enormous sum of money at that time, enough to build a real house.
Nashchokin commissioned the creation of items for his miniature house with the best known masters: the mahogany furniture was carved by the Gambs brothers, the porcelain dinner set came from the Popov factory, jackboots were made by Pel, the most fashionable St Petersburg shoemaker.
The Nashchokin House changed hands many times until this priceless artifact was finally given its place in the National Pushkin Museum collection on Moyka Street. Unfortunately, many of its miniature accessories have been lost.