Plates from Russian Service

Made for the wedding of Grand Duchess Anna Pavlovna and Prince Willem (later William II of the Netherlands)

St Petersburg, Imperial Porcelain Factory, 1816. Additions: Paris, Manufacture Royale de Porcelaine de Sèvres, after 1816; painted by F. Faber, Brussels, among others
Photo Janiek Dam

This service is still owned by the Dutch royal family and is used by King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima at official state dinners. Anna Pavlovna (1795–1865) was the youngest daughter of Paul I and the sister of Alexander I and Nicholas I. On 21 February 1816 she married Prince Willem, later William II. Their investiture as king and queen of the Netherlands took place in 1840. For her marriage Anna Pavlovna was given a large and costly dowry that included furniture, jewellery and large sums of money. This porcelain service, produced by the Russian Imperial Porcelain Factory in St Petersburg, was also part of the dowry. You see here a selection of plates from this extensive service, which originally comprised soup terrines, serving dishes of various sizes and 288 dinner plates and 120 soup plates, each designed in the Russian empire style and richly decorated. Each dish features a different tableau, for example scenes of playing children or putti and scenes from St Petersburg and environs that wouuld have reminded Anna of her homeland. The service was expanded later and broken items were replaced by pieces made in Sèvres.

Queen Anna Pavlovna missed the lavish dining culture of her parental home. She announced what she wished to eat every day and was critical of what she was served. The chef was once punished for spoiling the sago soup. She requested fresh fruit for her children. Exotic fruits like pineapple, figs and bananas, rarities in those days, were served at court.

St Petersburg, Imperial Porcelain Factory, 1816. Additions: Paris, Manufacture Royale de Porcelaine de Sèvres, after 1816; painted by F. Faber, Brussels, among others
Photo Janiek Dam

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The Hermitage Amsterdam is located on Amstel 51, Amsterdam

Photo Roy Beusker Fotografie

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