The Russian vogue for stone-cutting in the 18th century led to the creation of some of the most rich and elaborate objets d'art. The increased demand for these spectacular objects brought about the exploitation of Russia's wealth of mineral deposits and discoveries of new types and quarries. Rhodonite was among these discoveries, with a deposit located between 1781-83.
Of the Russian stone-cutting factories, Peterhof, just a few miles from St. Petersburg, was the oldest, however the huge distances from the mines and quarries meant that it was soon joined by two further factories. First, the new imperial factory at Ekaterinburg, in the heart of the Ural Mountains, and then the most famous of the factories, Kolyvan, in western Siberia, which specialized in colossal pieces made from the stones extracted from the Altai Mountains.
A very comparable example dated first third 19th century is in the collection of the Hermitage, St. Petersburg, and is illustrated in St. Petersburg um 1800: Ein goldenes Zeitalter des russischen Zarenreichs; Meisterwerke und autentische Zeugnisse der Zeit uas der Staatlichen Ermitage, Leningrad, Exhibition Catalogue, 1990, p. 410, pl. 357.
A related pair of rhodonite tazze inscribed 'Ekaterinburg 1861 Director Miklashevskii M[aster] G. Nalimov' was sold from the Alfred Morrison collection, Fonthill House, Christie's London, 30 November 2004, lot 404.