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A kovsh by Vasilli Matveev Kunkin from 1758; in the collection of the Walters Art Museum

The Kovsh is a traditional drinking vessel or ladle from Russia. It was oval-shaped like a boat with a single handle and may be shaped like a water bird or a Norse longship. Originally the Kovsh made from wood and used to serve and drink mead, with specimens excavated from as early as the tenth century.[1] Metal Kovsh began to appear around the 14th century, although it also continued to be carved out of wood and was frequently brightly painted in peasant motifs.[2] By the 17th century, the Kovsh was often an ornament rather than a practical vessel, and in the 19th century it was elaborately cast in precious metals for presentation as an official gift of the tsarist government.[3]


  1. ^ Yale Center for British Art, Gilbert Collection (2006). Olʹga Dmitrieva, Natalya Abramova, eds. Britannia & Muscovy: English silver at the court of the Tsars. Yale University Press. ISBN 0-300-11678-0. 
  2. ^ Taylor, Katrina V. H. (1988). Russian art at Hillwood. Hillwood Museum. 
  3. ^ Lowes, Will; McCanless, Christel Ludewig (2001). Fabergé eggs: a retrospective encyclopedia. Reference, Information and Interdisciplinary Subjects Series. Scarecrow Press. ISBN 0-8108-3946-6. 

Further reading[edit]

Media related to Kovshs at Wikimedia Commons