Tin Tabernacles and Pyxes from the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries. In the Rostov Museum. Rostov Velikii


In 1911, Russian photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863–1944) visited Yaroslavl Province, whose ancient cities included Rostov the Great, known as early as the 9th century. Between 1670 and 1690, Metropolitan Jonah Sysoevich created on the north shore of Lake Nero a large architectural ensemble known as the Rostov Kremlin (formally the “Metropolitan's Court”). By the time of Prokudin-Gorskii’s visit, the Rostov Kremlin had become a notable historic site with an excellent museum of antiquities. These museum objects are 17th and 18th-century tin vessels known as ciborium (daronositsa in Russian) for the consecrated hosts (bread) for the sacrament of Holy Communion. Such containers could also be used to take the hosts to those who were unable to take Communion in the church itself. Although originally resembling a chalice, the ciborium examples here resemble altars, and almost all are surmounted with crucifixes. The one on the right shows a depiction of the Old Testament Trinity. Prokudin-Gorskii used a special color photography process to create a visual record of the Russian Empire. Some of Prokudin-Gorskii’s photographs date from about 1905, but the bulk of his work is from between 1909 and 1915, when, with the support of Tsar Nicholas II and the Ministry of Transportation, he undertook extended trips through many different parts of the empire.

Date Created

Subject Date

Title in Original Language

Оловянныя дароносицы и дарохранельницы ХVII и ХVIII век. В Ростовском музее. Ростов Великий

Type of Item

Physical Description

Glass negative (presented as a digital color composite)


  • Prokudin-Gorskii’s photographic work survives primarily in two forms: 1,901 black-and-white triple-frame glass plate negatives, made with color separation filters, which Prokudin-Gorskii used to make color prints and lantern slides; and 12 albums of sepia-tone prints, made from the glass negatives, which Prokudin-Gorskii compiled as a record of his travels and studies. The Library of Congress purchased the glass plate negatives and the albums from the Prokudin-Gorskii family in 1948. In 2004, the Library of Congress had digital color composites made from all the surviving glass negatives using a software algorithm to automatically align the color components. As with most historical photographs, title and subject identifications are corrected and enhanced through new research. Current information on the collection is at http://www.loc.gov/pictures/collection/prok/.

Last updated: October 7, 2016