Bowls, deep drinking vessels without handles, were widely used in Russia in the Ð¥Ith-XVIIIth centuries. The word "chasha" meant not only the kitchen utensil but the item for proposing toasts to somebody's health or honour. It was also used during religious ceremonials. Bowls, executed for Tsar's court, were executed of precious metals and decorated with remarkable engraved or chased ornament. Tsar could grant bowls to his servants on special occasions.
A small gold bowl executed in 1653 is a masterpiece of the mid-XVIIth century goldsmithery. Shaped like a half-opened tulip it was granted to Tsar Alexey Mikhailovich by Patriarch Nikon. Protuberant embossed "spoons" (convex bosses-lobes), which form its surface, extend from the centre like elegant, rounded petals. Each spoon is decorated with a magnificent floral pattern covered in multi-coloured enamels. A niello dedicatory inscription runs along the rim, interspersed with large emeralds and sapphires in light, painted castes. This utensil has become a memorial item with an interesting history. In 1686 the regent Sophie presented the cup to her favourite Prince Vasily Vasilyevich Golitsyn. Seven years later, however, she fell into disfavour and the Prince was exiled to one province in north Russia. All his property, including the gold bowl, was transferred to the state treasury.