• 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 172

    A porcelain figure of a Russian peasant from the decorations of a dessert service given by Frederick II to Catherine II


    Price Realised  


    A porcelain figure of a Russian peasant from the decorations of a dessert service given by Frederick II to Catherine II
    by the Royal Berlin Porcelain Factory, 1770-1772
    Realistically modelled, a standing figure of a man in a long coat, high boots and a fur-trimmed hat, holding in his right hand a war trophy of a ceremionial Turkish head-dress, on a square shaped base, marked under base with blue underglaze sceptre
    11.5 in. (29.3 cm.) high
    Design by F.-E. Mayer.

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    In 1770, Frederick II of Prussia commissioned a dessert service as a gift to Catherine II to mark the alliance formed between Prussia and Russia at the Treaty of Hubertsburg in 1764.

    The service, which arrived in St Petersburg in 1772, was one of the most sumptuous sets produced by the Royal Berlin Porcelain Factory in the 18th century. The number and variety of the pieces was outstanding. The dessert set was complemented by an elaborate centrepiece consisting of over 40 porcelain figures, largely designed by the Prussian King himself and executed by the factory's most accomplished modellers and painters.

    The figures were based on J.-B. Tillard's engravings (which were in turn based on drawings by J. B. Le Prince) for Nationalities of Russia by Chappe d'Auteroche, published in 1768. The ethnographic variety of the figures and the attention to detail in the portrayal of their costumes is exceptional. In this example the bast shoes, heavy coat and fur-trimmed hat characterise the Russian peasant. The oriental head-dress he is holding, symbolises Russia's victory in the Russo-Turkish War of 1768-1774.

    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.


    G. Lenz, Berliner Porzellan - die Manufaktur Friedrichs des Grossen 1763-1786, Berlin, 1913.
    F. Hoffman, Das Porzellan der europäischen Manufakturen in XVIII Jahrhundert, Berlin, 1932, p. 492-494.

    E. Köllmann, Berliner Porzellan: 1763-1963, Brunswick, 1966.

    W. Pochomova-Gëres, Geschenke Friedrichs des Grossen an der russischen Hof Von Sanssouci nach Europa, Berlin, 1994.
    V. Pakhomova-Göres, 'The porcelain hymn of Sèvres', Pinakoteka, no. 10-11, 2000, pp. 229-233.

    N. I. Kazakevich, Western -European Porcelain in the Hermitage. The history of the Collection, St Petersburg, 2003, pp. 47-54.

    Masterpieces of 18th c..., number 211.