An Exceedingly Rare Vase with Imperial Provenance
Porcelain krater vase in Neo-Classical style, circa 1873, by the Imperial Porcelain Factory (St. Petersburg).
Width 10,5 in. (27 cm). Height 12 in. (30 cm).
Almost certainly, made for the wedding of the daughter of Tsar Alexander II, Grand Duchess Maria Alexandrovna (1853-1920) and Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh, the second son of Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom and Albert of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha. The wedding took place on January 23, 1874 at the Winter Palace, in St. Petersburg.
This is a very rare example of a ceremonial vase bearing the State Coat of Arms - the Imperial double headed eagle.
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The front is painted with two-tone gold Russian Imperial eagle.
The back is decorated with Imperial monogram 'MA' placed within a laurel wreath.
Shaped handles with molded laurel garlands.
Molded white acanthus leaves on contrasting gold ground are under the base, on rim of the vase, and on base of the foot. The vase is further decorated with two-tone gold classical laurel leaves.
Impressed Cyrillic characters around the metal screw are first letters of sculptor's name 'Vas.' (apparently for Vasily) and 'SH'.
The vase has an expertly repaired crack which goes from the center of the bottom, where the metal screw is, up to one of the handles
across a laurel garland into the field (on the back) towards the monogram, crossing the wreath in its lower part (faint trace is still visible), and down to the gilt band.
The repaired hairline crack is visible from the inside of the vase.
Green factory mark in the form of Alexander II cypher and numeral '28' on the foot.
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