A Rare Chinese Armorial Tea Canister with the Imperial Russian Arms Made For Catherine the Great in About c.1785. The Center is the Imperial Arms of Russia, The Imperial Double-Headed Eagle, Charged on the Breast with St.George and the Dragon. The Crowned Eagle is Clasping the Sceptre and Orb in it`s Talons. The Border in a Rather Free Version of the Neo-Classical with Garden Flowers Intertwined with a Ribbon. This Canister is Particularly Rare as it Comes from a tea Service, Most Pieces with these Arms Are Dinner wear, Primarily Plates and Dishes .
Condition: The cover lacking, minor wear.
Size: Height : 12.2 cm (4 3/4 inches)
References:For a Chinese export porcelain plate from this Catherine the Great armorial service of c.1785 see : The Peter H B Frelinghuysen Jr Collection of Chinese Export Porcelain, Christie`s New York, 24 January 2012, lot 125.
For a another Chinese export porcelain plate from this Catherine the Great armorial service see : China for the West, Chinese Porcelain & other Decorative Arts for Export Illustrated from the Mottahedeh Collection (David S. Howard and John Ayers, Sotheby`s,1978) Volume II page 455, number 461.
For a plate with a reticulated plate from this service see : Chinese Export Porcelain, Elvehjem Museum of Art (Catherine Coleman Brawer, Elvehjem Museum of Art, University of Wisconsin-Madison,1992. ISBN 932900-30-5) page 53, plate 29.
For a pierced basket from this Catherine the Great armorial service see : Chinese Export Art, Christie`s New York, 23rd January lot 186.
For another plate from the Catherine the Great armorial service of c.1785 see : Fine Chinese Export Ceramics and Works of Art, Christie`s London, 1st November 1993, lot 136.
The Catherine the Great Service of c.1785 :
A rather grand Chinese export porcelain service was made for Catherine the Great in about 1745, the service made in around 1785 is more austere and reflects the Neo-Classical taste popular in Europe at the time. The naturalistically painted flowers intertwined with a purple ribbon are thought to be inspired by Wedgwood from whom Catherine the Great ordered a service in 1773 (completed in the summer of 1774), this famous service is known as the frog service or green frog service. Nearly all of the pieces encountered from the Chinese Catherine the Great Service of c.1785 are from a dinner service. Because there was no direct trade between Russia and China the service would probably have been imported by the British East India Company. Christen Steward wrote “It was probably from Friedrich II of Prussia that Catherine learned that an art collection of first rank could serve her imperial ambitions almost as effectively as an imperial army” (The Private Taste of the Romanovs in Eighteenth Century Russia). A plate in the Metropolitan Museum of Art bares the inventory mark of Gatchina, the summer palace. Catherine the Great took such a great liking of the Gatchina Palace and park, that she bought it and presented it to her son, the future Emperor Paul I.
Catherine the Great :
Yekaterina Alexeevna, Catherine II, known as Catherine the Great was born in 1729. She reigned from 1762 until her death in 1796. She came to power following a coup d`état and the assassination of her husband, Peter III, at the end of the Seven Years` War. Russia was revitalized under her reign, growing larger and stronger than ever and becoming recognized as one of the great powers of Europe. For more information see