The Museum’s latest win at the Christie’s auction is a 1903 plate of the Raphael Service. The famous set was one of the best products by the St Petersburg Imperial Porcelain Manufactory in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. During twenty years new pieces were regularly produced as Christmas gifts to the imperial family.
Although specially designed for Tsarskoe Selo by Alexander III’s commission in 1883, the porcelain masterpiece with the Raphael Rooms-inspired ornaments had never been seen here. Its pieces finally started to appear in the Museum’s collection only over a hundred years later.
Now Tsarskoe Selo has a total of nine pieces of this most impressive imperial porcelain set: a cup, a saucer, a salad dish, two plates and four caviar dishes.
The grisaille painting on the plate shows a naked youth in a tunic in the centre and three putti in roundels along the rim, as well as the set’s typical arabesques, mythical creatures and vegetative and meander ornaments.
The nine pieces of the Raphael Service in our collection will be showcased in exhibitions and on display in the Catherine Palace.