A Russian porcelain Easter egg after a design by Sergei Romanov, Imperial Porcelain Factory, circa 1900. The pale blue ground egg decorated in the Neo-Byzantine style with stylized flowers against shaped gilt cartouches, the upper band painted in imitation of gem-set gold and with strapwork inspired by ornament on Old Slavonic manuscripts, also with a gilt Imperial crown, somewhat rubbed, on one side, the upper and lower apertures with gilt ornament. Height 3 1/2 in. (9 cm).
Imperial Porcelain Factory designers Sergei Romanovich Romanov and M. Matveev looked to the interlace ornament on Old Slavonic and Byzantine manuscripts as a source for colorful design on Easter eggs made around 1900. Although the decorative schemes were drawn from traditional sources, they were placed against new muted pastel glazes developed by the manufactory’s team of glaze chemists. The pale pastel blue ground of this egg was obviously influenced by the pale glazes that Lenox had shown at the Paris International Exposition in 1889 to great acclaim. On designs by Romanov and Matveev, see Tamara Kudriavtseva and Harold Whitbeck, Russian Imperial Porcelain Easter Eggs. Русские императорские фарфоровые пасхальные яйцa (London: Merrell, 2001), pp. 22-25 and 229. An egg with similar ornament designed by Romanov and another egg with an identical pale blue ground are published in the same book on pages 252 and 253.
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