Ars Ceramica Logo

2007, Number 23

Published September 2011

©2011 by The Wedgwood Society of New York, ISSN 1043-3317

  • President's Letter
  • The Power of Porcelain: The Gardner Order Services for the Empress of Russia by Scott Ruby
  • Missing the Mark?
    Bacchus and the Panther, and the Wedgwood Connection
    by Jeffrey Tulman
  • The Buten Wedgwood Collection: From Long Island to Birmingham, Alabama
    by Anne Forschler-Tarrasch
  • Harry Buten: Wedgwood Collector by Kenyon Holder
  • Staffordshire Figures and Aspects of the English Landscape
    Part 5: Movement in the Landscape: Traveling Shows and Menageries
    by Robert Harrison
  • Elijah Mayer’s Caneware Masterwork by David M. Pendergast

Cover Image

On the cover: a Wedgwood & Bentley portrait medallion of the Empress Catherine II of
White on blue jasperware, c. 1775, impressed Wedgwood & Bentley mark, 4 7/8” x 3½”
(12.4 x 8.9 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Emily Winthrop Miles, 59.202.6. Catherine the Great
(1729-1796), although “German by birth and French by education,” became one of the most
successful rulers of Russia. She aimed at opening up Russia to influences from the west, and in
an age of enlightenment, she was influenced by the French philosophers, especially Voltaire. Her
personal life may have left much to be desired, but even the Victorian Eliza Meteyard had
grudgingly to note that “[t]he Semiramis of the North – coarse, licentious and brutal as she was
– had yet enough of the woman in her to be at times influenced by the arts of civilisation.”
Catherine was a great patron of the arts, her interest in ceramics being shown by ordering two
services of Wedgwood’s cream-colored earthenware. One of these was the hand-painted “Frog”
service, most of which is still in the Hermitage in St. Petersburg. She also encouraged the
manufacture of porcelain in Russia, where the Gardner Porcelain Manufactory had been
founded near Moscow in 1766. Commencing in 1777, Catherine commissioned this factory to
produce several services bearing the insignia of the major military and state orders awarded by
imperial Russia. These Gardner Order Services, illustrated by examples from the Hillwood
Estate, are the subject of Scott Ruby’s article in this issue of Ars Ceramica

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