Russian craftsmen skilfully created glass jewellery, such
as bracelets, beads and pendants. We can’t but underestimate
the great influence of foreign masters, who held contracts
One of the first Russian Glass Plant was established in the
village Izmailovo, not far from Moscow. The luxury goods and
articles of virtu for tsar's court were produced here. The
foundation of the St. Petersburg Imperial Glass Plant started
the new era of the glass-work production. Thanks to the new
ideas and technologies Russia took one of the leading place
in the Wold Market of Glass.
One of the most important techniques of decorating glassware
was glass engraving, which helped in creation of antiquities
that went down to European History of applied art. Engraved
motives were appeared on vases, ceremonial smart gobllets,
glasses and plates of Imperial Glass Plant
St. Peterrsburg Imperial Glass Plant. 1777 - 1917
Petersburg and the Petersburg Province were in the past noted
for a well developed glass industry. Many districts of the
Province of the capital had dozens of large and small glass
works. The production of these factories was distributed through
the entire north-west region and in St Petersburg itself.
But high artistic levels were associated with those factories
which were appointed to produce unique glass ware for the
Russian Imperial Court.
During the time of Peter the Great, the tsarist family was
provided with glass by the very old glass works in Yamburg
and Zhabinsk, which prepared luxury articles for imperial
palaces and for the town houses of high society in the capital.
In the mid-1730’s an English merchant named William Elmzel
founded the St Petersburg Glassworks on the banks of the Fontanka
River. In this factory he produced works for the Imperial
Court and also goods for sale to the public. By an order of
the Senate in 1755 the glass production was transferred out
of the capital to the city of Yamburg, and in 1774 to the
settlement Nazya, near Schlusselburg.
During the 1740-1770 years the Russian handicraft of engraving
achieved perfection and splendor. Artists found how to make
the image delicate and dainty, how to realize their own compositions
on different topics in unity with forms of glass-ware. The
bottoms of bowls were decorated with special “stain”, where
air bubbles were seen.
In 1777 Empress Catherine the Great gave the factory in Nazya
to Prince Grigory Potemkin, who then moved it to the settlement
of Ozerki on his private estate. The year 1777 is officially
considered the date when the Potemkin factory was founded.
After his death, it was renamed the Imperial Glass Plant in
A special "Law on the Imperial Glass Plant" stated
that this enterprise should produce "artistic works for
presentation to the Imperial Court and to be granted to diverse
persons and institutions in the Sovereign’s name from His
Majesty’s Cabinet." All glassware was made in accordance
with designs that received the Emperor’s approval, and also
following models and drawings that had been confirmed by the
Minister of the Imperial Household or the director of His
Imperial Majesty’s Cabinet.
The creation of the Potemkin factory opened the new page
of the Russian Glass History. Elegant and unique chandeliers,
girandoles and sconces, produced there, were used in the main
halls of Winter Palace decoration.
The creation of stained glass is a Russian glory. It appered
during the classicism period and added color zest to interior.
In the beginning of the 19th century, the Imperial Glass
Plant produced glass objects for display in both domestic
and international fairs, for charitable lotteries and for
the museums attached to schools of art and industry.
At the end of the 19th century the factory produced each
year more than 20,000 items of different kinds of glassware
for the various palaces, taking the leading place among the
Russian anufactories. Gold and silver painting, picturesque
sceneries and delicate image of the ancient world were a new
stage in the History of Russian Glass.
Like the other Imperial Manufactories, over the course of
its existence the Glass Plant was an artistic treasure of
the capital that figured in all the guide-books to St Petersburg.
Despite the long period of its successful operations, following
the First World War and the Revolution, the general economic
collapse meant there were no longer resources available to
maintain an elite glass production. After several unsuccessful
attempts to keep it going, the Imperial Glass Factory was
New life of Russian Glassware Plant
Traditions of the St. Petersburg Imperial Glass Plant and
later the Leningrad Plant of Fancy Glass were regenerated
and developed in the company “Macgrav” Ltd
created in 1991.
Among articles of the workshop “Macgrav” there are with two-headed
eagles, sets with scenes of hunting, souvenirs and Easter
eggs in Faberge Style with hand made engraving, cutting and
The firm “Macgrav” collaborates with large museums of St.
Petersburg and Moscow, such as Hermitage, the Russian Museum,
the Palace Museum in Peterhoff etc.
Mastery of artists and engravers makes it possible to fulfill
any customer desire in glass and crystall, to restore ancient
Taking part in international exhibitions of England, France,
Germany, Italy, Luxemburg and USA magnificent works of artists
and engraves of the “Firm Macgrav” are repeatedly rewared
by honorary diplomas.