This service was given by the Saxon Elector Friedrich August II (King August III of Poland), to Elizabeth I Petrovna on the occasion of the marriage of her nephew, Grand Prince Peter Fjodorowitsch, to Sophie-Auguste von Anhalt-Zerbst, later Catherine II Alekseevna (Catherine the Great, Empress of Russia 1762-1796).
Some 440 pieces of the service are listed in an inventory (dated 5th November 1745) of certain chattels belonging to the Imperial household of St. Petersburg. 145 pieces of this service are still in Hermitage. Several pieces from this service were sold in our Geneva Rooms on 7th May 1987, lots 190-194, a pair of plates in these Rooms on 30th September 1991, lot 250, a dish on 25th November 1991, lot 335 and 13th December 2001, lot 666. For other examples from this service see '18th Century Meissen porcelain, The Hoffmeister Collection' Catalogue (Hamburg, 2000), Vol. II., p. 546, no. 363 and pp. 572-574. See also Ulrich Pietsch, Fhühes Meissener Porzellan Sammlung Carabelli, (Munich, 2000), p. 264, no. 135, and Rainer Rückert, op. cit. (1966), no. 482.
The Order of St. Andrew, the highest of all Russian Imperial Orders, was founded in 1698 by Peter the Great, and the cross is a simplified version of the Order's badge; depicted without the black double-headed eagle that usually accompanies it, and St. Andrew is also depicted without a halo. The letters at the each end of the cross, S, A, P and R are an abbreviation of Sanctus Andreas Patronus Russiae.
The moulded Gotzkowsky erhabene Blumen decoration was first developed by J.F. Eberlein in 1741 for a service for the German merchant Gotzkowsky.