Bent wood. The beginning of the 20th century, Russia.
«…The whole big and semi-dark hall was cluttered with unusual objects and clothing. Thus, thrown over the back of a chair was a funereal cloak lined with fiery cloth, on the pier-glass table lay a long sword with a gleaming gold hilt. Three swords with silver hilts stood in the corner like mere umbrellas or canes. And on the stag-horns hung berets with eagle feathers». (Mikhail Bulgakov, The Master and Margarita) This is how one of the characters of the novel saw the hall of «the odd flat». Now here is Mikhail Bulgakov’s umbrella stand from his Naschokinskiy lane apartment. Acquired in 2010 from L. Tarasevich.
These two oval windows puzzle our visitors and leave them lost in guesses quite often. However, they were made for practical purposes. As there was a toilet with the same oval windows across the corridor these windows helped to save electricity. Such a system has been quite popular until the 1960’s. But the unusual shape of the windows is a feature of the Pigit house, a tribute of the architects to Art Nouveau.
Wood, marble, mother of pearl. Carving, inlay. The middle of the 19th century, Europe.
Owing to the surviving photographs of Bulgakov’s last apartment we exactly know that this table stood in the hall and a large mirror in a heavy carved frame hung above it. Bulgakov and his wife used to leave notes on this table for each other and for their housekeeper. They also used to put bags and vases with flowers on the table. After the writer’s death Elena Bulgakova used it as a coffee table. Acquired in 2010 from L. Tarasevich.