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Hot Water Urn from the "Intourist" Tea Service

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Hot Water Urn from the "Intourist" Tea Service

Made by: Lomonosov State Porcelain Factory ||Freze, Varvara __Painter ||Zeisel, Eva __Designer __Form

On view in: Second Floor Hallway

About this object

The generalized, cylindrical forms of the vessels Eva Zeisel created for this service represent one of the earliest, and most notable, examples of the rationalization of ceramic forms in the thirties. The contemporary form makes an excellent backdrop to the contrasting views of the city of St. Petersburg/Leningrad painted on opposite sides of each piece. Older, important monuments are rendered entirely in varicolored gilt while newer structures, or ones that had been put to some new Soviet purpose, are painted in more lifelike and livelier colors. On the hot water pot Evseev's famous statue of Lenin delivering his April Theses from the hood of an armored car before the Finland Station on April 3, 1917 can be seen opposite a view of St. Isaac's Cathedral. The newer scenes are brisk landscapes, full of tiny figures moving about their business, while the monuments and buildings on the opposite sides are oddly isolated and empty. St. Isaac's Cathedral is not shown within the context of the busy square it stands on. The contrast suggests that the while the city the Tsars had created was quite beautiful, it was nevertheless empty and the new, Soviet city is more alive and vibrant than it had ever been in the past. The gilt banners and ribbons ornamenting the top and spout, both reminiscent of eighteenth-century glass and porcelain commemorating military victories, further underlines the triumphant scenes of the Sovietized city. The handleless lid of the hot water pot is pierced with a small hole and embellished with the initials gilt initials RSFSR and the date 1935 in blue.

Object name:
Hot Water Urn from the "Intourist" Tea Service
Made from:
Made in:
RUSSIA: St. Petersburg
Date made:
coffee pot __5.12 IN __7.00 IN __4.25 IN
coffee pot __13.02 cm __17.78 cm __10.80 cm

Detailed information for this item

Catalog number:
Signature marks:
INSCRIPTION __"Leningrad 1935 goda" __in Cyrillic cursive, gray overglaze on underside __Trans: Leningrad of 1935 ||signature __"khud. V. Freze" __in Cyrillic cursive, in gray overglaze, underside __Trans: Artist V. Freze ||mark __NKTP / zavod / im. / LOMONOSOVA / LENINGRAD / sort: 1/ 19 37 __stamped in iron red overglaze on underside __Trans: NKTP / Lomonosov Factory/ Leningrad/ 1st sort / 1935." The text is framed within laurel leaves. This was a special anniversary mark celebrating twenty years of Soviet power. NKTP is the acronym of the People's Commissariat of Heavy Industry.
Credit line:
Bequest of Marjorie Merriweather Post, 1973
Featured in publication:
"Eva Zeisel: The Playful Search for Beauty"