A Russian porcelain cup and saucer from the Service of His Majesty’s Own Dacha at Peterhof, Imperial Porcelain Manufactory, St. Petersburg, Period of Nicholas I (1825-1855), after 1843.
Decorated with the entwined floriated Imperial cyphers of Grand Duke Alexander Nikolaevich (later Alexander II) and his wife Maria Alexandrovna reserved against scrolling gilt ornament on a sky blue ground, the interior of the cup almost entirely gilded. Both with blue cypher marks of Nicholas I with gilt and blue glaze inscriptions reading N. 1: 2 near the foot, probably gilder’s marks.
Height of cup 2 3/4 in. (7 cm); diameter of saucer 5 7/8 in. (14.8 cm).
After Grand Duke Alexander Nikolaevich married Marie of Hesse in 1841, Emperor Nicholas I commissioned Court Architect Andrei Shtakenshneider (1802-1865) to redesign a personal dacha in Peterhof for the young couple beginning in 1843. The finished palace, which lady-in-waiting and memoirist Anna Tiutcheva described as “a precious bauble of luxury and refinement,” was one of the first monuments of the Russian Neo-Rococo style and the porcelain was designed to harmonize with the interior. On this service, see An Imperial Fascination: Porcelain, Dining with the Czars, Peterhof, New York, 1991, pp. 100, 103, no. 211.
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