Russian Glass Art and Ceramic Art

Cup from the Raphael Dessert Service of the Tsarskoye Selo Palace

    Cup from the Raphael Dessert Service of the Tsarskoye Selo Palace

    Russian Empire, Saint-Petersburg


    Imperial Porcelain factory

    Porcelain; colour overglaze painting, laying, gilding, lining

    Height 5.0 cm; neck diameter - 3.4 cm; base diameter - 3.8 cm

    Marks: stencilled green underglaze mark "А III" under the crown, over it - handwritten overglaze gold with red draughtsmanship "А III 1894" under the crown


    Cup with cylindrical body rounded towards the base, on circular stem, with low loop handle. The cup body is decorated with the picture inspired by Raphael's Vatican Loggias, including grotesque ornaments and three medallions with allegoric grisaille images: a gryphon, a dragon and a cupid playing with a dog. The medallions, the flange and the base of the cup are framed by golden lines.


    The cup comes from the most important ceremonial service of the late 19th - early 20th centuries ordered in 1883 for the Tsarskoye Selo palace by Emperor Alexander III. The design was elaborated by architect L.L. Shaufelberger; in 1890, new versions of the service painting were created by artists S.R. Romanov and M. Matveev. Rich ornamental decor developed for the service was based on the Raphael Vatican Loggias (in 1883, the Imperial Academy of Arts in Saint-Petersburg was celebrating the 400th anniversary of the artist's birth with particular splendour). As parts of the service were finished, they were presented to the Emperor as Christmas presents. In 1903, the service for fifty persons costing 125 roubles was fully completed.