• Galerie Popoff: An Enduring Pa auction at Christies

    Sale 7677

    Galerie Popoff: An Enduring Passion for Russian Art

    12 - 13 October 2009, London, King Street

  • Lot 169

    A porcelain armorial dessert plate


    Price Realised  


    A porcelain armorial dessert plate
    China, Guanchzhou, 1740s
    Circular, the centre painted with the Imperial double-headed eagle holding a sceptre and orb, with a shield-shaped cartouche enclosing a depiction of St. George slaying the dragon, surmounted by the Imperial crown, the rim with gilt foliate scrolls, lattice design and stylized flower heads, apparently unmarked, with red painted inventory number of the Housekeeping Department of the Winter Palace '2617.'
    9 1/8 in. (23 cm.) diameter

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    This plate originally belonged to a set of plates produced in the Guanchzhou porcelain workshops for the Russian Imperial court. This was the second porcelain service featuring Russian heraldic symbols to be produced in China, the first being a set of apothecary vessels commissioned by Peter the Great around 1720 to furnish the chemists he had recently established.

    Trade relations between Russia and China developed steadily after 1727, when a trade agreement between the two nations facilitated the movement of goods across their borders. Expeditions to discover the 'secret' of Chinese porcelain were common at this time, and it is possible that this plate was one of the items brought to Russia for analysis by experts keen to unlock the secrets of Chinese porcelain production.

    Pieces produced in the Far East featuring Russian heraldic symbols are extremely rare. Apart from the apothecary vessels mentioned above and the set to which this plate belonged, only one other object of this kind is known: a cup with a portrait of Anna Ioannovna, located in a private collection.

    Special Notice

    No VAT will be charged on the hammer price, but VAT at 15% will be added to the buyer's premium which is invoiced on a VAT inclusive basis.


    Masterpieces of 18th c..., number 196.