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Saucer from the "Intourist" Tea Service

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Saucer 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 some new Soviet purpose, are painted in more lifelike and livelier colors. On the hot water pot Elsie'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. Each piece, except the saucer, is decorated with two panels painted with gray toned images of Leningrad, and golden images of St. Petersburg. About the top of each and about the saucer is a gilt ribbon border.

Object name:
Saucer from the "Intourist" Tea Service
Made from:
Made in:
RUSSIA: St. Petersburg
Date made:
overall __ __ __ __5.25 IN
overall __ __ __ __13.34 cm

Detailed information for this item

Catalog number:
Signature marks:
INSCRIPTION; MARK __20th anniversary mark of the factory in red overglaze
Credit line:
Bequest of Marjorie Merriweather Post, 1973
Featured in publication:
"Eva Zeisel: The Playful Search for Beauty"