A Russian porcelain soup plate from the Grand Duke Paul Petrovich Service, Imperial Porcelain Factory, St. Petersburg, period of Alexander II (1855-1881). The shaped, circular plate centered with a black double-headed eagle holding two shields, one painted with the armorials of the Russian empire, the other with the armorials of Holstein-Gottorp, with polished gilt band about the rim, the underside with the factory’s blue mark. Diameter 10″ (25.4 cm).
Frederick the Great of Prussia presented a large porcelain service to Grand Duke Paul of Russia (later Emperor Paul I) in 1776 on the occasion of his marriage to Sophie-Dorothea von Württemburg (the future Empress Maria Feodorovna). The couple first met in Berlin and Frederick had a hand in arranging the match. The decoration of this first table service celebrates Russian military victories, while the second portion made in 1778 and of which this soup plate is a part, recalls Paul’s father, Peter III, who was born Karl Friedrich, Duke of Holstein-Gottorp. (He was also a grandson of Peter the Great.) Although the Imperial family is known as the House of Romanov, they are more properly described as the House of Romanov-Holstein-Gottorp.
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