Extremely Rare C1780 Catherine the Great Russian Gardner Vase (13 cm)

$3,500.00 Russian museum rarity


The Gardner Porcelain Factory was founded in 1766, by the English entrepreneur Francis Gardner. It was the first successful privately owned porcelain factory in Russia. Catherine the Great ensured the firm's success by commissioning from them four great extensive Order services, including St George and the St Vladimir, used in the Winter Palace. Our tiny vase stands only 13 cm tall. The lid has been repaired, with a replacement ball finial. It is photographed here in front of the pages of "Empires and Splendour: the David Roche Collection", which illustrates some of that Adelaide museum's prize exhibits. Its teapot is about 20 cm tall, and is Gardner of the same early period. Needless to say, early Gardner porcelain of this period is very rare. The porcelain is hard paste, made from clay local to the factory at Verbilki, in the Gjelsk region, just outside Moscow. Gardner initially employed Germans, including a manager called Gattenberg, and a painter named Kestner. This may explain the early mark of crossed swords and a star, resembling the Kingdom of Saxony's Meissen mark.

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