A Russian porcelain plate from the from the porcelain service for the cavaliers of the Order of St. Vladimir, Gardner Factory, 1783-1785. The center of the plate painted with the star of the order and the motto “Usefulness Honor and Glory” (Польза Честь и Слава) in Cyrillic and the Cyrillic monogram SRKV (СРКВ) which stands for Sviatoi Ravnoapostolnyi Kniaz Vladimir (Prince St Vladimir, Equal to the Apostles), the border with the red and black sash and badge, the edge finished with a band of gilding. Diameter: 9 1/4 in.
In 1782, five years after Empress Catherine II’s Cabinet had ordered the first three of the famed Order Services, the Empress founded the Order of St. Vladimir, in part to mark the twentieth anniversary of her accession to the throne. Credited with having brought Christianity to Russia, Prince Vladimir was canonized by the Orthodox Church and was called “equal to the apostles.” In Russian, this is rendered as Sviatoi Ravnoapostolnyi Kniaz Vladimir and thus the Cyrillic letters SRKV (СРКВ) appear on the star depicted on the service. The Service for the Order of St. Vladimir was first used at the Winter Palace at the ceremony held on the saint’s feast day, September 22, 1785. When the new Order was established, the Empress also named the first eleven members: Field Marshall General Alexander Golitsyn, Prince Grigory Orlov, Count Zakharii Chernyshev, Count Ivan Chernyshev, Count Nikita Panin, Prince Grigory Potemkin, Prince Nikolai Repnin, Ivan Betskoi (Catherine’s private secretary and President of the Imperial Academy of Arts), Ivan Shuvalov (her favorite and member of the Russian Academy), Prince Alexander Bezborodko, and Count Petr Rumiantsev-Zadunaiskii.
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