The present lot is part of sixty-two piece dessert service commissioned in 1845 by Queen Victoria to commemorate the state visit of Emperor Nicholas I to England in 1844. Among other lavishly decorated pieces, the service included two oval compotiers and two round compotiers. A plate from this service was displayed at the Great Exhibition in 1851 to demonstrate the factory's design and technical skills.
The Times, in its May 26, 1845 article praises the service: 'A dessert service, of the finest porcelain, has just been completed by command of Her Majesty by the Messrs. Daniell, of Wigmore-street and New Bond-street, to be presented to the Emperor of Russia. The service is for 60 persons; it is highly credible to the manufactories of this country, and displays, both in the shape of the various pieces of which it consists, the brilliancy of the colours, and the splendour of the gilding, a great advance both in the art of design and the mechanical processes or preparing the clay and producing the enamel of the surface.'
Nicholas I later commissioned the Imperial Porcelain Factory to produce an additional one hundred twenty-four pieces to be used at great banquets at His Majesty's private table.
In 1934, several pieces from the service were sold by the Narkomat of Foreign Trade outside of Russia, among them the two oval compotiers, one produced by Coalport and the other by the Imperial Porcelain Factory. It is likely that the present lot is the Coalport compotier that was sold in 1934. The two remaining oval compotiers, one from each factory, are preserved in the Hermitage.
For comparable pieces from the same service, see State Hermitage, Style and Epoch in the Decorative Arts, St. Petersburg, 1996, illus. p. 87, p. 268. M. Messenger, Coalport 1795-1926, London, 1995, pp. 220-221 A. Fay-Hallé and B. Mundt, Nineteenth Century European Porcelain, London, 1983, illus. p. 206.