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SET OF 6 PORCELAIN PLATE FROM THE ORDER OF ST. GEORGE SERVICE The Imperial porcelain factory of Francis Gardner, Kozlov Gavriil Ignatievich, Russia, 1777-1778 (reign of Empress Catherine II of Russia)
With scalloped gilt rims, the border with the orange and black striped sash of the order interwoven with laurel branches, the center with the star of the Order of Saint George. Condition: three plates are in very good condition, the other three are in good overall condition with little sign of usage Porcelain, polychrome overglaze painting, gilding. Underglazed cobalt factory mark "G", impressed marks in paste: "o" and "asterisk". Diameter - 23 cm. Provenance: From the collection of Commandant Paul Louis Weiller (1893-1993), a French industrialist and philanthropist, a pioneer of commercial aviation, a member of the board of directors of Air-France. Weiller was born into a Jewish Alsatian family, which had pioneered the industrialisation of Europe. He later became an aviation hero during the First World War. Using aerial photography during his reconnaissance flights, he was shot down on several occasions and wounded. He was a pioneer in the field of civil aviation (his airlines were subsumed into Air France on nationalisation in 1935), a political prisoner in the Second World War. Weiller also led a glamorous social life, regularly visiting the royal houses of Europe, renowned businessmen and politicians, as well as cultural personalities. He was known as a philanthropist and patron of the arts. Purchased by the present owner at the auction of Gros & Delettrez, Paris, April 5, 2011, Lot 84 (hammer price: €60,000) The St. George service was the first of four order sets ordered by he Empress Catherine II of Russia, at the Gardner factory for ceremonial receptions at the Zimny (Winter) Palace. The set, intended to serve eighty people, and cost 6,000 rubles. In 1856, the Emperor Alexander II enhanced it with exquisite chandeliers and decorative vases, and during the reign of Emperor Nicholas II it was enhanced by pie plates. Imperial Military Order of St. George the Victorious was the highest military award of the Russian Empire, established by Catherine II November 26, 1769 to distinguish officers for their heroic deeds on the battlefields and for military service. The Order had four degrees of honours. The Service was intended for a solemn dinner, in honour of a meeting of the Duma of the Order and was held annually, on November 26 in the St. George Hall of the Winter Palace. The service of the Order of St. George was first used on November 26, 1778 and the last on November 26, 1916. A large part from this service is kept in the collections of the Hermitage Museum and several pieces in the collections of the Hillwood Museum, Washington (Taylor, Art Hillwood, Washington, 1988, Fig. 105, 72 and L. Nikifora, Russian Porcelain in the Hermitage, Leningrad, 1973).