History of Imperial (Lomonosov) Porcelain - 4

first letter THE SET THAT BECAME A LEGEND
Emperor Paul I preferred intimacy and solitude, repudiating the elaborate court life of his mother, Catherine the Great. During his reign, sets for two persons, or dejeuners, came into vogue. The sets produced for Paul were generally ornamented with pictures depicting favorite architectural and landscape views of his palaces in Saint Petersburg, Pavlovsk, and Gatchina, and the renditions were notable for their virtuosity.

These sets were customarily placed on tables with porcelain tops. Such ensembles were made for the members of the imperial family or as gifts on special occasions. Shortly before moving into his new residence, St. Michael’s Castle, the emperor ordered a dejeuner set with decoration depicting views of that palace. The set was uncommonly spectacular: gilded ornament in relief overlaid on a pearl glaze.

The St. Michael’s Castle set was first used for a supper March 11, 1801. "His Majesty was highly delighted,” the chamber page on duty remembered of that evening. "He repeatedly kissed the patterns on china and said that it was one of the happiest days in his life." That same night, Emperor Paul I was assassinated by conspirators. And the St. Michael’s Castle set vanished into the mists of time.
PREVIOUS     TABLE OF CONTENTS     NEXT
Page copy protected against web site content infringement by Copyscape