~Lomonosov Porcelain Factory~
The "Lomonosov Porcelain Factory" in St. Petersburg is over 250 years old. It was established on the banks of the Neva River in 1744 by Empress Elizabeth, daughter of Peter the Great. A soon-to-be quite influential porcelain factory. The local raw material, which included clay from Gzhel and quartz and alabster from Olonets, had been recently tamed by a scientist - Dimitri Vinogradoff - who had also introduced the concept of master craftsmanship. The idea was that decorators and painters of fine porcelain would be schooled at the Academy of Fine Arts. The factory soon began to supply the needs of the Imperial Court. It was a fairly small-scale operation, with product costing many times over what the private factories that flourished nearby produced. For a while the partnership between masters from the Academy of Arts and the factory flourished, but after 1820 the links were abruptly severed. In the early 19th century, the Imperial Porcelain Factory was again built up and began to make more complex porcelain pieces. In the early 20th century, the factory was given over to the war effort. After the Communist revolution, propaganda porcelain was given special priority and status. Much of this limited output today commands great interest, respect and high values. Recently prices have been going through the roof, commanding 2-3 (sometimes 10) times over auction estimates.
In 1925, on the occasion of the 200th anniversary of the Academy of Sciences of Russia, the factory was named after Mikhail Vasilevich Lomonosov (1711-1765), a Russian scholar, historian and scientist (whose wide-ranging interests and pursuits were analogous to those of the American statesman, Benjamin Franklin). During the Soviet era, the Lomonosov factory was a bright star in the otherwise dull firmament of cultural and plastic arts.
Information obtained from