History of Imperial (Lomonosov) Porcelain - 3

first letter A SET FOR A COURT FAVORITE
It was during the reign of Catherine the Great that the English style of tea drinking became fashionable, though the empress herself preferred coffee. The tea ceremony evolved into ever grander style and importance in the royal court, and the porcelain factory could barely keep up with the demand. It churned out gala sets with spectacular table adornments: vases, fragrance vases, table tops, everything possible to create a resplendent ambience. Some of these sets number over a thousand in pieces. In the 1860s, Catherine II ordered a set for her favorite, Grigory Orlov, the man who had helped her to wrest the Russian throne. In that day, the court ritual started with the morning awakening of the nobles. So, Orlov’s set consisted not only of utensils for breakfast, but also included many toiletry items. The set for Catherine’s favorite totaled almost 300 pieces, each of them bearing a crown and a monogram ГГО (or “GGO”, for Grigoriy Grigorevich Orlov), with gold and silver decoration. This service is considered to be one of the most perfect examples of early Russian porcelain. Objects from the set can be seen in the collections of the Hermitage, the Russian Museum, the National Museum of Finland, and the Hillwood Museum in Washington, DC, as well as in private collections.
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