A Russian porcelain Easter egg, Imperial Porcelain Factory, circa 1900. The cream ground egg decorated in the Russian Style with stylized flowers against acanthus framed by gilt teardrop-shaped borders interspersed with blue and green scrolling foliate swags, the upper aperture with a gilt rosette, the lower with a gilt band, and with original, but faded, tricolor silk ribbon bow. Height 4.5 in. (11.4 cm).
Designers at the Imperial Porcelain Factory, particularly Sergei Romanovich Romanov and M. Matveev, looked to the interlace ornament on Old Slavonic manuscripts as a source for colorful design on Easter eggs made around 1900. The influence of manuscript ornament, particularly in the teardrop-shaped cartouches, is readily apparent on this egg, which is undoubtedly a design by Romanov or Matveev. Although the ornament drew from traditional sources, it was enlivened with new muted, pastel glazes developed by the manufactory’s team of glaze chemists used as a contrasting ground for the rich colors of the decoration. The creamy yellow ground was obviously influenced by the cream-colored glazes that Lenox had shown at the Paris International Exposition in 1889 to great acclaim and which was imitated by factories throughout Europe and America.
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