Imperial Manufactory, St. Petersburg, 1855-1881.
Set of 12 hard porcelain dinner plates, with scalloped border enhanced by a gold border, the center is decorated with a polychrome flower bouquet surrounded by a crown of flowers in relief called "Gotzkowsky". The top of the marli is decorated with the double-headed eagle of the Romanoffs alternating with branches of flowers in relief and polychrome floral motifs. The lower part shows the insignia of the order of Saint Andrew. Slight wear from the time, but quite good condition.
Green marks on the reverse: A. II. (Alexander II), under imperial crown. Diameter : 24,5 cm.
History : this service made by Johann Friedrich Eberlein (1695-1749) and decorated with a relief decoration called "Gotzkowsky", was offered by King August III of Poland to Empress Elisabeth I of Russia, on the occasion of the marriage of his nephew, Grand Duke Peter Feodorovitch with Princess Sophie of Anhalt-Zerbst, future Empress Catherine II, on August 21, 1745. Composed of 440 pieces, according to an inventory drawn up on 5 November 1745, it was the most important diplomatic gift ever made by the Meissen manufactory. The Order of St. Andrew, founded in 1698 by Peter the Great, was the most important order in the Russian Empire. The cross depicted on this service is a simplified version of the insignia of the Order of St. Andrew, which is normally applied to the black Romanoff double-headed eagle surmounted by a red imperial crown. The letters at each end of the cross S.A.P.R. stand for Sanctus Andreas Patronus Russiae.
Provenance: collection of Empress Elisabeth I (1709-1762), a gift from King Augustus III of Poland (1693-1763), placed in the private apartments of the sovereign from August to November 1745, and then transferred to the Winter Palace at the end of 1745. Under Emperor Nicholas II, in 1911, this service, several pieces of which were replaced in the 19th century by the Imperial Porcelain Factory of St. Petersburg, was placed in the Hermitage Museum, under inventory number 1703. Then in the early 1930s, through the Antikvariat, a state organization created by the Soviet government, a large part of this service was put up for sale. Today the Hermitage Museum still has 145 pieces from this service.