In 1777, Catherine the Great issued a ukaz commissioning the Francis Gardner Factory to make services decorated with the ribbons, badges and stars of the more important Imperial Orders (St. George, St. Andrew, St. Alexander Nevskii and St. Vladimir) for use once a year at the Winter Palace, when the Knights of each order dined on their appropriate Saint's Feast Day. The Gardner Factory produced uniquely Russian services, rather than mere copies of European models.
The service for the Order of St. George, numbering sixty knights, was completed in 1778. The Order of St. Alexander Nevskii had thirty knights, and was completed in 1780. A service for the Order of St. Andrew, which also numbered thirty knights, was also completed in 1780. A service for the Order of St. Andrew, which also numbered thirty knights, was also completed in 1780. The cost at the time was enormous, 15,931 rubles in all, 6,000 rubles for the St. George service alone.
The services so pleased the Court that in 1783, Catherine II issued another ukaz for the service for the Order of St. Vladimir, numbering 140 knights, which was completed in 1785.