As noted in the article Imperial Porcelain Factory: history and modernity, the plant has always developed under the patronage of the ruling elite – the monarchs or, later, the state. Therefore, the marking of manufactured products always included state symbols: the monogram of the emperor, the coats of arms or monarchical symbols.
Marks of the Imperial porcelain of the Elizabethan period (1744 – 1761)
Since its foundation in 1744, the plant has been known as the Nevskaya Porcelain Manufactory. Russian chemist D.I. Vinogradov, the founder of Russian porcelain, marked the first articles with the capital letter of his name, adding a year or the exact date of their manufacture. Some labels include the recipe number for the porcelain mixture.
Later, from the mid-1750s, the brand takes the form of a two-headed eagle. The image was applied by the method of pressing into the mass or in the form of underglaze or overglaze painting of blue, black or gold.
… Catherine II (1762 – 1796)
With the reign of Catherine II, the brend was depicted in the form of an imperial monogram: the letter “E” with the Roman numeral II. The color is blue or gold, applied under the glaze or on top of it.
During this period, mass production of porcelain dishes for the needs of the court and palaces of Catherine begins, such products are marked with the symbols “Придвор”, “ПК” – which means “Court Office”, or the image of the crown over the grate. Sometimes together with them the year of manufacture was put.
… Paul I (1796 – 1801)
We see that the marking of porcelain products continues the tradition in the form of a monogram of Emperor Paul I crowned with a crown. The dishes for the courtiers are also marked with the symbols “ПК”. but with the letter “П” at the top. The colors are the same: blue or gold, above the glaze or under it.
… Alexander I (1801 – 1825)
Under Alexander I, the brand predictably takes the form of the letter “A” with the crown. As you can see, if the name of the emperor is unique at the time of his accession, the figure I was never put. A large variety of character tracings is due mainly to manual marking during this period. The colors and place of application continue the tradition: blue or gold, above the glaze or under it.
… Nicholas I (1825 – 1855)
Nicholas I somewhat changes the tradition: the monogram in a different outline with the crown remains. but I is added to the name of the emperor. On some stamps the crown is executed very picturesquely with careful drawing of details. Colors remain: golden or blue.
… Alexander II (1855 – 1881)
The color of the marking changes: it becomes olive-green under the glaze, sometimes golden in the glaze. The image represents the letter A and the Roman numeral II above which the crown hovers, in some cases the monogram lies in the laurel wreath.
… Alexander III (1881 – 1894)
Mark under Alexander III, as it is not difficult to guess, differs from the previous Roman figure III. The colors are the same: olive green under the glaze or gold on the glaze. With the last two emperors, the brand of porcelain is sometimes supplemented with the last two digits of the year of manufacture of the product.
… and Nicholas II (1894 – 1917)
The mark has the form of a letter H with a crown at the top and a Roman number II below. Sometimes put the year of release. Colors: olive green under the glaze or gold on the glaze.
Marks of the State Porcelain Factory (1917 – 1925)
After the February revolution of 1917 and the abdication of Nicholas II from the throne, a huge country suddenly left without a flag, a coat of arms and state symbols. Therefore, for the first few months, porcelain was simply marked as the year of manufacture. From this period the name of the enterprise is changed to the “State Porcelain Factory” (GFZ). From March 21, 1917 until July 10, 1918, the double-headed eagle, deprived of imperial regalia, becomes the emblem of the Russian Republic, and it also appears on the stamps of the GFZ during this period. Further brands of the plant are a reflection of the political life of the country.
The October Revolution of 1917 presented the country with a new state symbol – a crossed hammer and sickle, which we can see on the variations of the factory grades of the GFZ. The figures also show signs dedicated to helping the starving Volga region, the anniversary of the October Revolution, export versions with the inscriptions “made in Russia” and “made in Russia USSR”.
Marks of the Lomonosov Porcelain Factory (1925 – 2005)
In 1925, in connection with the anniversary of the Russian Academy of Sciences, the plant was named after M.V. Lomonosov, from this moment he becomes the “Leningrad State Porcelain Factory named after MV Lomonosov. Lomonosov “, abbreviated as” Lomonosov Porcelain Factory “(ЛФЗ). During this period, the abbreviation “ЛФЗ” is present on almost all the stamps of the plant, although the outline of the symbols is changing. Export options are also accompanied by the inscriptions “made in Russia” and “made in Russia USSR”. From 1970 to 1989, the brand indicates the grade of products and the product complexity group. 1 grade was marked in red, 2 – in blue and 3 – in green. Brands of jubilee issues were supplied with a laurel wreath. From 2002 to 2006, hand-marked products with the inscription “hand decorated ЛФЗ 1744 St.Peterburg Russia”.
The modern brand of the Imperial Porcelain Manufactory since 2005
In 2005, the company returns its historical name “Imperial Porcelain manufactory” (IPM). The current brand of IPS dark blue (cobalt) color, is reduced to a single standard and does not allow for variations.
3 thoughts on “Russian porcelain marks”
I have a tea set with the blue “Hand Decorated” mark and I am trying to find out more. One website claims that this set would have been made after 2002, yet I purchased it in St Petersburg in 1999. Beneath the blue mark is a signature in the Russian script “Liniya”. Can you tell me about this signature and does is suggest a time of manufacture. More importantly I cannot find any examples of my particular design on the internet. I purchased it because I thought it was highly unusual and futuristic in design, and I have seen nothing else like it.
OK, send me some photos of you tea set with the blue «Hand Decorated» mark – I `l try to help you 🙂
Thanks so very much for sharing this information! I have a cobalt “golden frieze” tea set that was gifted to me as an exchange student to Moscow in early 1992 that curiously has the green “ЛФЗ” mark with”2 c” under it on all the tea cups, but a red “ЛФЗ” and “MADE IN RUSSIA” mark on the matching saucers. I suppose this cobbling together of pieces might’ve been common during this period? The quality of the two grades appears to match — at least to my untrained eye. I’ve since come across more recent “golden frieze” pieces that seem to be of better make: whiter porcelain with more sharply defined gold patterning. Nevertheless, I’ll always treasure my original green and red stamped set.