• 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 152

    A porcelain figure of a Kazan Tatar


    Price Realised  


    A porcelain figure of a Kazan Tatar
    by the Imperial Porcelain Factory, St Petersburg, 1780s
    Realistically modelled, a standing figure of a man, wearing a fur-trimmed hat, a belted tunic and a brown long coat, yellow high boots, on a circular shaped naturalistic base, marked with blue overglaze 'E II' and incised Cyrillic 'P'
    9 1/8 in. (23.2 cm.) high

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    Modelled after J. D. Rachette, this example of the figure of the Kazan Tatar in the Popoff & C° collection can be considered as unique, made from an unknown model from the series The Peoples of Russia produced by the Imperial Porcelain Factory.

    No other similar figures have been mentioned in publications or special monographs and no major porcelain museum collections in Russia hold anything of this kind. All reproduced figures known to specialists of the Kazan Tatar from The Peoples of Russia series of the 1780s-90s follow a different pattern.

    Comparing the example in the Popoff & C° collection to other models, one can conclude that this example is from the earliest prototype and takes its source directly from the Georgi book Description of All Nationalities living in Russia. The latter prototype follows the engraving of J. B. Le Prince which itself finds its source in the Georgi engraving, however, without doubt, differences are noticeable between the two. The expression on the face of the first prototype is far stronger, expressive and more real than the second. Other differences are more straight forward and unique to the first prototype, such as the right hand which is down-stretched and not resting on the hip, or the stylized palm leaf which stands behind the figure and does not exist on the second prototype.

    There are no similar figures from the first prototype known to exist in museums or private collections.

    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 179.


    Sèvres, Musée céramique de Sèvres, Exposition de ceramiques russes anciennes, April-October 1929, cat. 33.

    London, 1 Belgrave Square, Exhibition of Russian Art, 4 June-13 July 1935, p. 39, number AL.