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Auction of rare Russian Imperial Porcelain from golden age of the Tsars

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Cuttlestones’ Adrian Simmons with the six soup
dishes and six plates from Tsarevitch Alexander
Alexandrovich’s banqueting service.



Part of a 19th Century banquet service that once belonged to Tsarevitch Alexander Alexandrovich – later Tsar Alexander III of Russia – is set to come under the hammer at West Midlands’ auction house Cuttlestones on Friday 14th September 2012.

All matching, the twelve pieces comprise six soup bowls and six plates that were made at, and carry the marks of, the Imperial Porcelain factory in St Petersburg. The delicate design combines scalloped edges with gilt decoration; each piece emblazoned with the cipher of the Tsarevitch beneath the Imperial crown. In exceptional condition, carrying no cracks or chips and with just minor rubbing to the gilt, these are a very special find – as Adrian Simmons, specialist ceramics valuer at Cuttlestones, explains:

These are an unusual offering of pre-revolutionary Russian porcelain, and have a cast iron Royal connection. It is very rare for matching groups to come onto the market, normally just odd ones and pairs appear.

What’s even more unusual, however, is the condition of these pieces. Alexander III died in 1894 and was succeeded by his son, Nicholas II with whom the family line would end in bloody revolution and the murder of the Royal family in 1918. Most Imperial items were damaged or destroyed during looting after the revolution, so such pristine examples are very few and far between. We’re going to split the pieces into two lots of six – one comprising the soup bowls and the other the plates – and will be putting an estimate of £3000 on each group. However, with Russian oligarchs ever keen to secure their homeland’s art and antiques, with these items carrying such strong Royal links this could well be on the conservative side!

For further information, or to register your interest in these lots, call Cuttlestones on 01785 714905. The catalogue for the firm’s Friday, 14th September Fine Art Sale, in which the items are consigned, will be available online at from Friday, 7th September with viewing on Thursday, 13th September from 10am – 7pm. Live internet bidding via alongside telephone and commission bidding options will open the field to an International audience.

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