Russian Porcelain - Gardner Porcelain Factory
Serpentine-shaped Russian porcelain wall plaque
Painted in the Art Nouveau style with the goddess of the moon, scantily clad in classical fashion, flying through the sky with stars and holding a crescent moon
Late 19th century
The reverse with Francis Gardner Porcelain Factory mark in red: St George and Dragon, surrounded by a circle bearing the full name of the factory in Cyrillic, surmounted by the double-headed eagle
28.3 cm x 19.5 cm
Although there was a porcelain manufactory in St Petersburg since 1744 - the Imperial Porcelain Factory - it manufactured solely for the Russian court, obliging the Russians to order from Meissen or Vienna.
In 1766 an English banker, Francis Gardner, was given official permission to open a porcelain factory located in a small village called Verbilki in Moscow Province and very quickly the Gardner Factory was competing with the Imperial Porcelain Factory in terms of quality and artistic level and set the standard for other manufactories even after a whole series of porcelain factories sprung up across Russia in the nineteenth century.
The factory was operated by the family for three generations until 1891, when it was taken over by Kusnetzoff; their porcelain name and mark continued after the Gardner firm had been absorbed by Kuznetsov.