Department of Metals and Modern Syntactic Materials

The Department of Metals and Modern Syntactic Materials is a collection with more than 55 thousand items.

The Department holds a wide range of artefacts from the 17th century to the present. In the collection there are industrial and agricultural equipment, precision tools and instruments, decorative articles of interior dressing, lighting fixtures, clocks and watches, architectural elements, decorative enamels and religious objects.

The Department contains objects made of non-ferrous and ferrous metals, stone, organic materials such as horn, nacre, amber, – and synthetic materials: beads and modern plastic materials.

The collection of industrial and agricultural items consists primarily of ferrous metal artifacts. Groups of pieces that characterize completely some trade or craft (for example, a complete set of tools of a jeweler’s workshop of the late 19th century) are of extrinsic value.

The architectural decor collection contains metal-covered doors and grills, rare cast-iron floor plates molded in the early 18th century, the sculpture of a trumpeting Fame installed atop the Moscow Red Gates in the mid-18th century.
In the collection of decorative articles of interior dressing there are mostly bronze artworks: decorative vases, small boxes or vessels for fragrances, cabinet and table sculptures.

These outstanding masterpieces of the late 18th – early 20th centuries distinguish the largest West-European and Russian manufactures, specifically the famous French bronze-producing factory of P.-F. Thomire and Petersburg firm of F. Chopin.
The collection of lighting fixtures covers the entire variety of types: from hammered candlesticks, multilayer copper chandeliers, floor and table candlesticks to grand ceiling chandeliers. In the collection there are a chandelier from the Purekh village church ordered by the house servants of Prince D.M. Pozharsky in 1642, candlesticks from Alexander I’s ambulatory church and many other artworks.

The collection of household stuff is just as diverse, since it contains a batch of Russian trunks, the richest collection of samovars in Russia, tin rarities including the engraved tin collection the largest in Russia. In the collection there is tableware of Patriarch Nikon, Czarevna Sofia, Czarevich Ivan and future Emperor Peter I.

The objects manufactured at Urals plants in the 18th century are grouped into a stand alone collection. This outstanding collection of early Urals copperware is literally without any analogue in other Russian collections.

The collection of steel items manufactured at the Tula plants in the mid-18th – 19th centuries is of no least importance. It contains artworks decorated with technique of diamond cut and also with complex technique of etching. The needlework box bestowed to the Empress Elizabeth Alexeevna by the Tula gunsmiths in 1813 is one of the memorabilia of the collection.
The collection of precision tools and instruments, scientific instruments made in the 18th-mid-20th centuries houses telescopes and astrolabes, navigation devices and binoculars.
Among the memorabilia there are distillatory vessel belonged to M.V. Lomonosov and telescope of M.I. Kutuzov.

The collection of clocks and watches of the 17th-20th centuries covers the entire range of previous types and shapes, and it defines preeminently the West-European productions. Among the exhibits there is the coach clock of legendary guerilla Denis Davydov.

The Department has accumulated an outstanding collection of Russian and West-European locks and keys dating to the 17th-19th centuries. These are rare axe locks, locks with numerical code, etc. The keys of European cities handed over to the Russian army officials during the 1813 liberation campaigns fall under the category of historical relics.

The rare collection of Enamels on copperware includes unique masterpieces of West-European, Oriental and Russian art.
A set of items produced in the hand-painting and printing-on-metal techniques is merged into a separate collection. These are decorative trays of the early 19th century manufactured at Urals and near-Moscow plants and tin packages of the late 19th-20th centuries.

The religious objects form a special collection in which there are rare and unmatched kind of copper casting – encolpions, crosses and folding icons dating to the 15th-19th centuries.
In the Department there is the largest collection of Russian bead needlework of the 18th-19th centuries that is rested on the famous A.P. Bakhrushin collection.

The Masonic signs of Russian and West-European Masonic Lodges compose a stand alone collection. Among the memorial items of this collection you can find Masonic signs of P.I. Pestel.
The collection of contemporary artworks is one of the most rapidly expanding. It includes various objects related with Russian everyday life after 1917.

The Department offers tailored excursions for students of Higher Art Universities and museum workers.

Advising assistance and scientific expertise are offered on Mondays and Thursdays.

Current exhibitions