An unusual and interesting example of the first edition of this famous work celebrating 260 years of Russian porcelain production of the best quality. It is richly illustrated and documented, and includes an important chapter on makers’ marks.
This copy is particularly interesting as it recalls the work of the Hammer Galleries in building collections of Russian art in the West and preserving a great deal of the Russian heritage that might otherwise have been lost. Specifically, this copy appears to have been prepared for a keen collector of Imperial Porcelain: Mrs. John W. Kiser of New York City.
The Russian Imperial Porcelain Factory in St. Petersburg was founded on the orders of the Empress Elisabeth, daughter of Peter the Great. The first technical director, Christoph Conrad Hunger, proved to be unable to produce porcelain from the materials at hand, despite having worked with Bottger at Meissen and at various other European factories. Hunger was dismissed in 1747, and Dimitri Vinogradov was appointed in his place. Vinogradov had trained as a mining engineer, but was also a skilled technician with a good understanding of chemistry. Using only materials available in Russia he came up with a successful formula that produced fine quality porcelain. With informed Imperial input from Elisabeth and her successors, the Imperial Porcelain Manufactory not only survived but prospered. The present work charts the productions of the IPM from the mid-18th century until the October Revolution of 1917, beautifully illustrated with examples from all periods, and a with a plate at the end with facsimiles of the various marks that were employed.
Folio (40 x 31.5 cm). Half title on card lettered in gilt with gilt Russian eagle, VIII incl. half title and title, 422, 63,  pp., with photogravure frontispiece and 12 plates on india paper mounted, a chromolithographic plate and 493 numbered illustrations in text, plates with tissue guards with captions, extra-illustrated with tipped-in descriptions in English on small-format Hammer Galleries headed paper of Russian porcelain in the collection of Mrs. John W. Riser, the title-page with the neat calligraphic addition of an English translation of the title with additional text “With translations concerning the Collection of Mrs. John W. Riser. 1935 / By The Hammer Galleries, Inc.”, the onion paper title/guard sheets to each plate with English translations of the captions in the same calligraphic hand, the same to occasional illustration captions, the fore-edges with applied celluloid thumb-tags, with paper inserts identifying what is flagged; occasional tears to areas around thumb-tags. Later red cloth, titled on red morocco spine label, upper cover lettered in gilt, top edge gilt, stamp to lower edge.
Provenance: Mrs John W. Kiser (300 Park Avenue, NY, NY, title page, inserts dated March 1934 – June 1935); Max Safron (binding, ink stamps on front pastedown and half-title).
Stock ID: 88926