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Dinner plate - Kremlin service

Kremlin service

  • Object:

    Dinner plate

  • Place of origin:

    Russia (made)

  • Date:

    1837-47 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Solntsev, Fedor (designer)
    Imperial Porcelain Factory (manufacturer)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Porcelain with enamelled decoration and gilt

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Daryl Logan

  • Museum number:

    C.4-2009

  • Gallery location:

    Ceramics, Room 139, The Curtain Foundation Gallery, case 29, shelf 3

In the exhibition catalogue, 'A Taste for Splendour' (see below), Anne Odom discusses the origins of the extraordinarily rich service, known the 'Kremlin service', commissioned by Tsar Nicholas I of Russia from the Imperial Porcelain Factory in St Petersburg in 1837. The Tsar directed that the service should be in the "old Russian taste" and as such it marks an important point in the revival of traditional motifs in Russian decorative arts. The designer of the service was Fedor Solntsev (1801-92), a young graduate of the Academy of Arts, who was sent by the Academy's Director, Aleksi Olenin, to make drawings of treasures in the Kremlin Armoury to use in its design. Many of his drawings were later published, including one depicting a seventeenth century Turkish metal washbasin, richly enamelled with radiating palmettes that was clearly used as the inspiration for the dinner plates in the service, as well as for the larger hors d'oeurvres dishes and tazzas. The service was intended to be for five hundred place settings and to include two thousand dinner and one thousand each of soup and dessert plates, although it is not known if it was completed in its entirety. It was used at the Great Kremlin Palace (completed in 1847) for coronation, diplomatic and ecclesiastical banquets.

The dessert plates from the Kremlin service are decorated with a completely different design, including the Russian double-headed eagle and the inscription 'Nicholas, Emperor and Autocrat of all the Russias'. As well as a pair at Hillwood, there is one in the collections of the British Museum, M&ME 1992,7-8,1.

Anne Odom and Liana Paredes Arend. A Taste for Splendour: Russian Imperial and European Treasures from the Hillwood Museum. Alexandria, Virginia, USA: Art Services International, 1998. Published in conjunction with the exhibition at the Hillwood Museum. See cat. no. 133: Pair of dessert plates from the Kremlin service.

Physical description

Plate, extensively gilded and with enamelled decoration depicting radiating pine trees

Place of Origin

Russia (made)

Date

1837-47 (made)

Artist/maker

Solntsev, Fedor (designer)
Imperial Porcelain Factory (manufacturer)

Materials and Techniques

Porcelain with enamelled decoration and gilt

Marks and inscriptions

HI under a crown
NI for Tsar Nicholas I
printed in underglaze blue

Dimensions

Height: 3.4 cm, Diameter: 24 cm

Object history note

See C.3-2009 for references

Descriptive line

From the 'Kremlin Service', porcelain with enamelled and gilded decoration, commissioned by Tsar Nicholas I from the Imperial Porcelain Manufactory, St. Petersburg, 1837-47

Materials

Porcelain

Techniques

Enamelled; Gilt

Categories

Porcelain; Ceramics

Collection

Ceramics Collection

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