The signs of Imperial Regalia on the cup allow us to date it to 1762. Evidently, the cup was designed to celebrate the Coronation of Catherine II which immediately followed the state coup of the 28 June 1762.
The specific initials of Catherine II painted on this cup and saucer have a singular significance. The majority of porcelain pieces dating to Catherine's reign feature the Imperial initial E followed by the Roman numeral II. The initial E juxtaposed with the Arabic numeral 2 occurs only sporadically on individual objects produced in the first years of her reign, such as the cup, saucer and plate with laced rim from the collection of Prince Dolgorukii, see Wolf, 1907, p. 70-71, illustrations 89 and 91.
Alexander Popoff was the first to suggest in the 1930s that the cup was produced in 1762. Circumstantial evidence allows us to date the commemorative cup to the beginning of Catherine's reign. Details on the handle are similar to the ones on the foot of the tea-pot from the Private (Sobstvenny) Service of the Empress Elisaveta Petrovna (now in the State Hermitage Museum) and dating from the second half of the 1750s to the beginning of the 1760s (see Beneath the Royal Monogram, 2007, p. 68, catalogue no. 16). These similarities can also be observed on the tea-pot dated from the second half of the 1750s to the beginning of the 1760s from the collection of the Russian State Museum (see Emme, 1950, p. 67). See also a photograph of the vase in Masterpieces of Russian 18th Century Porcelain, from the collection of Popov & C°, Moscow, 2009, p. 342, illustration 1.
The present porcelain covered cup and saucer are unique. This item has no counterpart in any Russian museum, not even in the collections of the Hermitage in St Petersburg.