Modern Arms Art in Russia throws back to more than 20 years. Still, it’s quite difficult to figure out general standards of the artistic approach applied in this field and attach it to definite patterns of art areas. Of course, it is because this art niche is quite new and hasn’t developed its main features yet.
History of Russian arms art began in 1595 when tsar Fyodor I Ivanovich made Tula’s (Russian city) blacksmiths make arms for the country and cut local taxes. Later, in the 19th and well into the early 20th centuries special naval dirks, which were a vivid example of designed weapon, used to be a part of admiral, general, officers and midshipmen uniform. Most naval dirks were worn first and foremost on dress occasions and were not meant for use in battle. After the October Revolution in Russia the rules concerning weapons changed greatly, but the tradition of having dirks remained unchanged. Daggers became popular in the 20th century as uniform regalia through the period of the Fascist dictatorships in Mussolini’s Italy and Hitler’s Germany. Dress daggers were used in armies of some other countries as well, e.g. Japan, but they never were as those worn by the Military and Political bodies of the Third Reich. As combat equipment they were carried during the Second World War.
Explosion of interest towards cold blade arms in Russia was observed on the threshold of the 21th century and it led to quality progress of arms design, growth of technical arsenal and perfection in execution. Jewelry decoration techniques, architectural and sculptural forms, graphic and a lot of other things, including modern computer technologies, are now widely applied in design arms.
Russian armourers of our time began to create genuinely unique pieces of art and started to mark their works with their names. They also founded a number of creative unions (The guild of armoires, which exists since 1999, and various groups and workshops in Moscow, St. Petersburg, and Zlatoust), and found their place in the modern art in general.