A large Russian porcelain tureen with cover and underplate from the so-called Cobalt Service, Imperial Porcelain Factory, St. Petersburg, period of Alexander II (1855-1881). The tureen lid surmounted by an impressive gilt apple, the pieces decorated with a deep cobalt blue ground border with gilt decoration en caillouté reserving shaped cartouches with brightly colored bouquets of roses, tulips, morning glories, and other blossoms and flanked with gilt floriated swags, with green cypher mark of Alexander II. Dimensions: Height 13 1/2 in. by width 15 in. by Depth: 15 in. (34.3 x 38 x 38 cm).
The so-called Cobalt Service is connected to a luxurious cobalt blue ground porcelain service with gilt decoration en caillouté that Joseph II had ordered from the Vienna Porcelain Manufactory as a gift to Grand Duke Paul Petrovich, then the heir to the throne and traveling with his wife throughout Europe. The design was inspired by an earlier gift of a Sèvres table service given to Danish King Christian VII by Louis XV in 1768. During the reign of Nicholas I, this service, used at Gatchina Palace, once again came into favor and numerous additions were made to it beginning in 1840. The additions continued throughout the remainder of his reign and that of his successor, Alexander II (r. 1855-1881). On this service, see Tsvet nebesnyi, sinii tsvet, St. Petersburg, 2007, no. 14, p. 40.
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