Maria Semenova inherited the business of her father, Vasily Semenov, an outstanding silversmith, who is famous for his silver and niello work. This happened in 1896. Under her management, the workshop was not only expanded, but also switched to the production of silver items with elegant cloisonne enamel, which was extremely popular in Russia at the end of the 19th century. The factory of Maria Semenova worked until 1917, and the number of employees reached 100 people in the best years.
Silver ladles, which were produced at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries by silversmiths, were no longer used for drinking, as in the old days. Most often they showed off in shop windows, slides and sideboards of wealthy houses, it was a valuable decoration, a family heirloom. Small ladles, sometimes sold in sets of several, were used as salt shakers.
Larger ladles were most often gifts. Large ladles with state emblems were ordered by the imperial court for gifts and awards. This practice has existed since ancient times. If officials in the civil service were more often presented with caskets and snuff boxes, then ladles and goblets were awarded for military merit.