Russian Folk Handicrafts

Golden Khokhloma


Northen Folk Art - Mezen

Lipetskiye Uzory

Russian Matryoshkas

Sergiev Posadskaya Matryoshka

Semionovskaya Matryoshka

Polkhovsky-Maidan Matryoshka
Vyatskaya Matryoshka

Russian Easter Eggs

Faberge Jewellery

House of Faberge

List of Faberge Eggs

Imperial Eggs

Faberge Works
Famous Collections of Faberge

Russian Linen

Russian Shawls

Russian Orenburg Shawls

Pavlovo Posad Shawls

Russian Cashmere Shawls

Lacquer Painting





Russian Icon Painting

Origin of Icons
Early Russian Icons
Golden Age of Russian Icon
Understanding Icons
Icon Painting Schools in Russia
Russian Icon in the Modern Age
Russian Icon Painters
Famous Russian Icons
Icon Painting Nowadays
Icon Restoration

Porcelain & Ceramics

Lomonosov Porcelain
Lomonosov Porcelain Factory Under the Tsars
Lomonosov Porcelain Factory After the Revolution
Lomonosov Porcelain Factory Today


Samovars & Trays

Traditional Samovars

Tula Samovar

Zhostovo Trays

Nizhny Tagil Trays

Russian Watches








Russian Cuisine

Russian Traditional Food

Russian Drinks
Russian Vodka
Samogon - Home Made Vodka

Hand-Made Lace

Vologda Lace

Yeletskie Kruzheva

Russian Glassware
Dyatkovo Crystal Plant
Gus-Khrustalny Crystal Factory

Russian Traditional Toys

Toys of Old Russia
Russian Toys Today
Dymkovskaya Toy

Bogorodskaya Toy

Made in Russia
Made in Russia

contact us:
15/113 generala simonyaka street
198261 st petersburg
phone: 8 812 9136128

Lomonosov Porcelain Factory Under the Tsars

The Foundation of the Factory under Empress Elizabeth

"Sobstvenny" Service mid-18th centuryThree hundred years ago no one in Europe had any idea of the materials and techniques used in making porcelain. The secrets of porcelain production were kept so guarded by the Chinese that many magical qualities were ascribed to this mysterious material. Among other ideas, it was believed that porcelain dishes would change color if poisoned food or drink was placed in them. This supposed property was one of the important reasons that prompted European monarchs, including the Russian tsars, to use Chinese porcelain at court.

The market value of this rare and precious china was equal to gold and it was frequently called "white gold". Gifts of porcelain were presented to crowned heads; it was used to decorate state rooms; rulers bartered their subjects for it; food was served on china dishes on special ceremonial occasions; grand ladies even wore shards of china on little gold chains as a particularly refined and expensive form of adornment.

It was not until the early 18th century that the alchemist Johann Friedrich Bottger, who had long searched for the "philosopher's stone", discovered a way to produce "European" hard paste porcelain with the help of the physicist and mathematician Count Ehrenfried Walter Graf von Tschirnhaus. Thus, the first European porcelain was manufactured in securely guarded secrecy at Albrecht Castle in Meissen. China production started in Vienna some years later.

These developments did not escape the notice of Russian Tsar Peter the Great whose reforms were aimed at Europeanizing Russia. He was obliged to import porcelain and stoneware from abroad for daily use and for decoration of the imperial apartments. His wife, the future Empress Catherine I, had a great liking for porcelain. The entire Russian aristocracy followed the example of the imperial couple. During his frequent visits to European countries, Peter I pursued his interest in the secrets of porcelain manufacture and he attempted to introduce it to Russia with the help of foreigners. But all his efforts to establish porcelain production at his own court were in vain.

Porcelain bowl impressed with double-headed eagle and the number 15The European term "porcelain" is derived from the Italian "porcelino" - so called because the pieces of china brought back from the Orient by Marco Polo had the pale pink color of young piglets. Other sources, however, ascribe the origin of the term to the sea crab "porcella" with its delicate pink hue. Initially the term "porzelin" was used in Russia, but from the middle of the 18th century there came into use the word "farfor", which comes from the Turkish and Persian title for the Chinese emperor ("farfur").

Peter I's desire to establish his own porcelain production was finally realized two decades later by his daughter, who was then Empress Elizabeth (1741-1761).

"A clever and kind, yet at the same time a superficial and capricious Russian noblewoman", according to the historian Klyutchevski, Empress Elizabeth combined in her person "the new European ambitions" with the "orthodox, traditional Russian way of life". Born to the sound of cheerful music on the day of the tsar's return from the battle of Poltava, she adored gaiety, song and dance in her youth, while in her more mature years; she came to prefer the pleasures of the table. Yet for all this she always had the interests of her Russia at heart.

read more


Click Here to Buy Gifts&Souvenirs Derectly from Russia

Russia from All the Sides:

Welcom to the World of Faberge

Treasures of the World - Faberge Eggs

Welcom to the World of Faberge

Russia Art. Mezen Painting and Palekh

Russian Cuisine (Recipes, exchange board, English Translations for russian Herbs)

Russian Orthodox Church (History, Icon Painting, Church Music, Major Holidays)

Russian Folk Art

Best of Russia (History, Culture, Life, Royal Family, Major Cities)

Russian Collections (Icons, Folk Arts, Modern Art)

All About Vodka

Official Site of the Company Producing Stolichnaya Vodka

home faberge eggs watches icons Lace Khokhloma linen porcelain matryoshka toys samovars food