Russian Birthday Box
The central rosette on the top is taken from an early Romanesque manuscript, circa 12th century. Carving a mirror image of one quadrant out of the rosette creates each corner of the box. The ‘diamond-shaped’ curved lines that enclose the central rosette are a combination of a series of ‘S’ curves, known as a Hogarth curves. They are named after William Hogarth, 1697-1764, an English painter and engraver who considered this curved form to be the most artistic form in nature. Rays are carved between the corners and the curved lines, serving to bring the focus of the eye into the central rosette.
The front panel of the box contains the recipient’s monogram, carved in a script style. As is customary in monograms, the first letter of the last name “(C) is the central letter and is carved larger than the letters on either side of it. On the left is (V) to represent Violetta and on the right is (I) representing the recipient’s patronymic name. Surrounding the monogram, the Hogarth style diamond shape was carved. This not only acts to capture and highlight the monogram, but also creates a cohesive theme with the carving on the top of the box.
On the underside of the lid is carved a saying to impart a wish for the recipient’s future and at the same time recognizing her heritage. It was, therefore, carved in Russian, her native language. The English translation for that message is:
“ 1st line - Let it be the way you want it to be
2nd line - And let all your wonderful dreams
3rd line - Turn into reality (or "come true")”
This message is one that will certainly withstand the test of time and be as true at any point in the future as it is today. The calligraphy work above and below the inscription was put there to create a ‘frame’ that would also provide a flourish and be a symbol of the femininity she possesses and that is so cherished by her fiancé.