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Russian Orthodox icon chromolithograph on metal

Orthodox icon chromolithograph on metal

Such icons in the end of 19th century and beginning of 20th century were produced in Russia by two competitive companies.

 

Owners of competitors were A. Zhako and W. Bonaker. They produced unique and interesting orthodox icons but they were extremely hard to keep in good condition. Almost all of their products are now pretty rusty. In places with visible corrosion printed picture disappears.

Such chromolithograph icons were intended for poor Russians, mostly living in the country. Metal icons were cheaper than wooden ones.

In Russia such icons were thought for years to be a kind of falsification of "true byzantine wooden icons". A. Zhako and W. Bonaker  were even accused of having foreign-sounding surnames. In 1902 the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church decided to ban selling icons on tin in Orthodox churches.

 

These icons, however, had also supporters. Zhako factory took a part in many Russian exhibitions getting even a golden medal for its products.