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Department of Mineral Sciences

Dragonfly Box by Nicolai Medvedev

Medvedev and the Smithsonian

Medvedev had a one-man exhibition of his work at the Smithsonian titled “Mineral Masterpieces: Hard-Stone Inlay by Nicolai Medvedev.” The exhibit featured 25 handcrafted intarsia boxes that were on display from April 1992 to October 1995.

The National Gem Collection has five Medvedev intarsia boxes in the permanent collection, donated by Steven and Debra Daren. There is also one intarsia brooch, a collaboration with jewelry designer Susan Helmich, donated by Irene and Rudy Patton.

Dragonfly Box

Dragonfly Box (NMNH G10042). Photo by Harold and Erica Van Pelt.
Harold and Erica Van Pelt

The Dragonfly Box features a rhodochrosite stalactite slice from Argentina as the centerpiece. It is surrounded by an intricate pattern of azurite/malachite from Bisbee, Arizona, sugilite from South Africa, turquoise from the Sleeping Beauty Mine in Arizona, Australian white opal, and malachite from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (bottom of box). The inside of the box has a slice of picture jasper from the U.S. accented with birch, cherry, and teak woods as well as a yellow gold dragonfly stop and hinge.

The Dragonfly Box (NMNH G10042; 14.0 cm x 16.0 cm x 9.5 cm), made by Nicolai Medvedev in 1991, was donated to the Smithsonian by Steven and Debra Daren in 1994.

Large Malachite Box

Large Malachite Box (NMNH G10411). Photo by Harold and Erica Van Pelt.
Harold and Erica Van Pelt

The Large Malachite Box has a beautiful slice of a malachite stalactite from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, surrounded by sugilite from South Africa, gold in quartz from California, and turquoise from the Sleeping Beauty Mine in Arizona. The inside of the box has a slice of picture jasper from the U.S. along with purple heart, mahogany, and teak woods.

The Large Malachite Box (NMNH G10411; 15.9 cm x 14.6 cm x 7.6 cm), made by Nicolai Medvedev in 1996, was donated to the Smithsonian by Steven and Debra Daren in 1998.

Midnight Butterfly Box

Midnight Butterfly Box (NMNH G10409). Photo by Harold and Erica Van Pelt.
Harold and Erica Van Pelt

The Midnight Butterfly Box highlights azurite/malachite from Bisbee, Arizona forming butterfly wings, turquoise from the Sleeping Beauty Mine in Arizona, sugilite from South Africa, Australian white opal, poppy jasper from California, and malachite from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The inside lid has a slice of picture jasper from the U.S. and walnut, cocobolo, and mahogany woods.

The Midnight Butterfly Box (NMNH G10409; 7.6 cm x 6.3 cm x 7.6 cm), made by Nicolai Medvedev in 1994, was donated to the Smithsonian by Steven and Debra Daren in 1998.

Midnight Dreamscape

Midnight Dreamscape. Intarsia-cut green and blue malachite in a pin. [AUTO]. Photo by Ken Larsen.
Ken Larsen

Midnight Dreamscape is a brooch designed and fabricated by jewelry designer Susan Helmich featuring one of Medvedev’s gem intarsias. The 18k yellow gold brooch is accented with diamonds (0.17ct total) and a 10mm South Sea pearl. The intarsia includes azurite/malachite from Bisbee, Arizona in the center, framed by Australian white opal, and then bordered by malachite from the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

The Midnight Dreamscape (NMNH G11497; 3.4 cm x 10.8 cm), made by Nicolai Medvedev, was donated to the Smithsonian by Irene and Rudy Patton in 2015.

Small Malachite Box

Small Malachite Box (NMNH G10408). Photo by Harold and Erica Van Pelt.
Harold and Erica Van Pelt

The Small Malachite Box has a cross section of the tip of a malachite stalactite from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, accented with turquoise from the Sleeping Beauty Mine in Arizona, opal from Australia, sugilite from South Africa, and azurite from Bisbee, Arizona. The inside includes a slice of picture jasper from the U.S. accented with cocobolo, black walnut, mahogany, and cherry woods.

The Small Malachite Box (NMNH G10408; 7.6 cm x 6.3 cm x 7.6 cm), made by Nicolai Medvedev in 1993, was donated to the Smithsonian by Steven and Debra Daren in 1998.

Venus Box

Venus Box (NMNH G10410). Photo by Harold and Erica Van Pelt.
Harold and Erica Van Pelt

The Venus Box incorporates two halves of a cross section of a malachite stalactite from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, sugilite from South Africa, turquoise from the Sleeping Beauty Mine in Arizona, opal from Australia, gold in quartz from California, and incredible lapis lazuli from Afghanistan. The inside of the box features a slice of picture jasper from the U.S. and purple heart, black walnut, cocobolo, and mahogany woods.

The Venus Box (NMNH G10410; 15.2 cm x 7.0 cm), made by Nicolai Medvedev in 1996, was donated to the Smithsonian by Steven and Debra Daren in 1998.

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