Tula Samovar at the exhibitions
The first exhibition of industrial goods in Russia took place in 1829 in St.-Petersburg. In 1836 at the Moscow manufactory exhibition, Tula merchant Vasily Lomov showed the samovars, which were rewarded by a silver medal. Initially exhibitions took place in the special occasions, for example, anniversaries or visiting of honorable guests. So, in 1837 the arrival of the successor of a throne, the future Alexander I, the exhibition of "fabrications" was arranged in Tula. The successor with retinue, together with educator V.A.Zhukovsky (by origin he was fr om Tula), travelled « for the review of the state » and on June 9th they visited Tula. At the exhibition, except for the weapons for the army, produced at Tula arms factory, there were pistols, daggers and cones, steel products, door devices, clocks, compasses and other production of Tula manufacturers. In the same exhibition hall, there were also products fr om the best samovar factories: Hereditary honorable citizens Lomov and Tchernikov, merchants Lisitsyn and Chruslov. Samovar-coffee pots by the arms master Malikov attracted attention of the audience with its “elegance of the shape, quality of the metal and perfection of the design, incomparable to others”.
Later, for the progress of the industry and encouragement of domestic manufacturers, every year in Russia industrial or agricultural exhibitions took place in various provincial, and sometimes region towns. In 1851 in Tula the first next provincial agricultural exhibition was organized. By the rules of provincial exhibitions, Tula province was a part of 3-rd district of the exhibitions that also took place in Ryazan, Oriel, Voronezh and the Tambov provinces. At the exhibition 757 items were presented, 354 items were made by gun makers and manufacturers have. The court manufacturer Ivan Grigorevich Batashev received reward certificates of the exhibition for the copper products such as samovars, door and window, devices and locks. Another reward went to Nikolay Malikov - for samovars and coffee pots.
One-step at a time the Tula products become popular and interesting for the foreign exhibitions. However, the first presentation of the Tula goods at London exhibition of 1861 was not noticed, A. Hodnev was sent there by Russian economic society noted the negligent listing of Russian department, shortage of exhibits, but the main objective – to establish the goods, interesting for foreign customers, was accomplished. The most popular Tula goods, besides the weapon, were samovars. Up to 72 000 samovars were taken out from Tula that time to take place at the Nizhniy Novgorod fair, so-called “the pocket of Russia”. On the world's fair of 1867 in Paris, samovars of brothers Vasily and Alexander Stepanovichej Batashev’s factory, and Simeon Uvarov's samovars, received the honorable certificates.
The most important for the Russian industrialist world was the All-Russia exhibition which took place in the capitals – Moscow or Petersburg, sometimes including and large industrial centers, such as Nizhni Novgorod. To participate at All-Russia exhibition, the manufacturer had to present the product not only of high quality, but also the product of Russian origin made of raw materials by Russian workers. In 1870 such exhibition took place in Petersburg wh ere brothers Batashevs, Vasily and Alexander, were recognized. They received the silver medal for the samovars and extensive manufacture in general, and the bronze medal for the trays from tombac and copper and slop basins. The samovar, represented at the exhibition was called “Florentine vase” and was decorated by an elegant relief ornament from palmetto, and handles-grabbers on the cover were made from the ivory in the shape of the sockets of flowers. Others masters of Tula samovar manicuring were noticed as well: Simeon Uvarov got the bronze medal for samovars and hardware, Rudakov got the same medal for the tombac samovars, Praskovya Somova for the samovars and coffee pots.
Still, no one of Tula samovar manufacturers received the gold medals. In 1873 on the world's fair in Vienna brothers Batashevs have brought samovars “with devices” - trays and slop basins – from copper and tombac Nikolay Ivanovich Batashev – copper and tombac samovars with trays, as well as other hardware goods: locks, masks (metal plates with a keyhole for doors and boxes with internal locks), loops, latches, hooks, door springs, handles, screws copper and iron, devices for the windows and ovens. Brothers Batshevs, and Nikolay Batashev all received medals, but only bronze. It is interesting, that some samovar manufacturers presented quite original and unusual goods: Nikolay and Michael Ljalin brought harmonious metal beds for which they designed special leather boxes.
In America, the manufactures from Tula were not so lucky: brothers Batashevs brought samovars and trays in 1876 to the Philadelphia international fair, in 1893 on the worldwide Columbia exhibition in Chicago, the successors V. S. Batashev and Nikolay Ivanovich Batashev also presented their samovar products, but nobody received prize-winning medals. All industrialists from Tula got medals for the participation of the exhibition, which were given to all participants. Though such medal for participation had a great value because only the best quality products were selected to participate at the international fairs and exhibitions.
The whole shower of awards has spilled on Tula manufacturers for taking part at All-Russia art-industrial exhibition in 1882 in Moscow. The highest award – the State Emblem – was received by brothers Vasilkovs for the outstanding qualities and colors of morocco and leather, brothers Batshevs –gold medal for the extensive manufacturing, high quality of samovars at the low prices, Nikolay Ivanovich Batashev –gold medal for high quality of samovars and the hardware goods. Silver medals were given to: brothers Vorontsovs – for excellent furnishing of samovars, first of all, tombac; to Nikolay Goltjakov – for the folding travel samovar, as well as guns and revolvers; to brothers Lyalins – for high quality of an ordinary grade of samovars and very cheap manufacturing; Reingold Tejle – for the introduction developed by the businessman improvement in samovar business; bronze awards for samovars went to Egor Batashev and Michael Tuljakov.
In 1897 at an exhibition in Nizhni Novgorod, “the Big eagle”, the right to put the image of the State Emblem on the products, was received by V.S.Batashev's to successors. In the end 19th – the beginning 20th centuries, there were often arranged exhibitions of food-processing industry and hygiene abroad. The samovar, suited these requirements of sanitary items of the food-processing industry in the best possible way, therefore Tula samovar manufacturers participated a lot in such exhibitions. In 1904 in Vienna the factory of the trading house “B. G.Tejle and sons” received Grand prix for the kerosene samovars.
At an exhibition, both a product, and manufacturing was estimated, as the main objective of such exhibitions was to develop the manufacturing. Therefore all the awards received at exhibitions, were given not to the separate items, but to factory as a whole, and using these awards, as advertising was possible not depending on, whether the given model in general at an exhibition was represented. Besides at each exhibition the certificates of 3 degrees equal to the bronze award, and diplomas of 4 degrees were awarded not only to a medal, but also, honorable or favorable mentions, also encouraging medals were given: “For diligence and art”, “For quality” and it is simple for participation. At the All-Russia and foreign large exhibitions of manufacturing, not only famous samovar factories participated, but also handicraftsmen could show their production at various provincial agricultural and crafts-industrial exhibitions, wh ere they also awards were awarded.
Awards were made, as a rule, out of the various copper alloys, gilt or silvered, for prize-winning awards they were made large in size and very heavy. They were not intended for carrying (except for some awards of exhibitions of handicraft products for which were available special holes), therefore it was possible to show them in public only in one way – to place the print of the medal on the samovar or to the price-list, as an advertising page together with the label of the factory.
The best advertising of products of certain factories was the prints of medals from various exhibitions, which could be seen on the body of the samovar. Some manufacturers, for a stronger effect of persuasiveness, put the prints both on the body, and the cover, and on the pallet of a samovar as well, believing, that the recurrence of extra print of the award, would not harm. So the abundance of prints of medals on a samovar still proved nothing: even if there were original medals and not repetitions of the same awards, the rank of the exhibition, still, the awards differed very strongly. The gold medal of the international exhibition in Amsterdam for samovars, which was received by brothers Batashevs in 1883, could not be compared with a medal received by Condrat Gornin from the Tula society of rural owners in 1884; and the State Emblem of V. S. Batashev's successors in 1897 at the All-Russia Nizhniy Novgorod exhibition – to the encouraging medal for participation at the same exhibition.