News-Antique.com - Aug 13,2010 - We will briefly look in some depth at just some of the most noted porcelain manufactories in Russia. Gardner, Popov and Kornilov are just a few so let's find out a bit about them.
An Englishman by the name of Francis Gardner arrived in the Soviet Union and his name and porcelain manufactory are synonomous with Russian porcelain of the highest quality. During the 18th and 19th centuries, many craftsmen were foreigners from Scandanavia, Germany, France, England and Elsewhere. Just an example of this, one of the best Silver shops in St Petersburg during the 19th Century was affectionately known as the "ENGLISH SHOP". Most of the foreigners who arrived in Russia at the time were attracted by the considerable financial opportunities and they were able to establish businesses when Royal permission was obtained.
There were 2 Francis Gardner's in Russia in the 19th Century, one located in St Petersburg and the other in Moscow. The Gardner of Moscow opened a banking office and it appears that he was quite successful in this endeavor and decided to invest his profits in a porcelain factory - Gardner porcelain was born and it was one of the most successful factories in Russia!
By 1760, Francis Gardner had decided upon his porcelain factory and had set off, traveling the world in search of the necessary materials to produce porcelain. He first visited the district of Gzhel where there was already an established pottery industry. Next stop was Poloshki, in the Chernigov province of the Ukraine. He visited his good friend, Ivan Markevich on whose land he found good clay, quartz and Kaolin clay, essential for the making of porcelain. The amazing fact is that the original deposits found by Gardner have not been exhausted and are still in use today.
Some of his most famous services are the SAINT ANDREWS and SAINT GEORGE services made for the ruling Romanov family.