Merenkova O. N. A Collection Description by L. A. Mervart as an Example of Museum Document

Olga N. Merenkova
Peter the Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography (Kunstkamera) of the Russian Academy of Sciences
Saint Petersburg, Russia 


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ABSTRACT. The paper is devoted to the description of a unique archive document composed by L. A. Mervart in 1923, which is inventory № 3015 of the collection of Indian carved wooden stamps for printing patterns on fabric. This inventory is valuable not only for its detailed description of all the 290 wooden stamps, but also for ink imprints of each object. Furthermore, this unique document contains a short essay written by L. A. Mervart and containing her own observations about the usage history of collected items and the geographical area of acquisition of these valuable specimens. The author of the article classifies wooden stamps according to the types of patterns carved on them and analyzes the types of motifs used. The dominant part of the collection is performed by stamps with floral motifs, mostly in the form of stylized climbing branches with numerous flowers and leaves, as well as stamps with geometric patterns formed by dotted rows or straight lines. Of particular interest are stamps with images of birds, animals, deities and celestial objects, as well as with stylized Arabic inscriptions. Most of the stamps were attributed by the collectors themselves, but even for them the semantics of some of the images remained a mystery, which appears to be an interesting material for further research. 

KEYWORDS: museum collections, archive document, inventory , stamps, usage history 

УДК 069.5
DOI 10.31250/2618-8619-2018-2-216-223



Архив МАЭ РАН. Опись коллекции МАЭ № 3015. 66 л. 

Гусева Н. Р. Художественные ремесла Индии. М., 1982. 

Мерварт А. М., Мерварт Л. А. Отчет об этнографической экспедиции в Индию в 1914–1918 гг. Л., 1927. 

Тиковое дерево // MasterShip. URL: (дата обращения: 21.08.2018).