The Imperial Porcelain Manufactory is one of the largest and well-known Russian companies producing art porcelain ware. Moreover, the IPM is one of the oldest factories in Europe and famous global producer of high quality porcelain ware of considerable artistic value.
The history of the Imperial Porcelain Manufactory goes far back into 1741 when Dmitry Ivanovich Vinogradov, at the initiative of empress Elizabeth of Russia, succeeded to create the formula of “white gold” and produce the first porcelain. The factory was founded in the countryside by the side of the river Neva where Obukhovskoy Oborony Avenue passes today. It is interesting that location of the factory remained in the same place as 272 years ago. The history of the factory is bound up in the history of Saint Petersburg where the IPM appeared only 38 years after establishment of the city on Neva. Being in the civil service throughout its existence, the factory is closely related to the destiny and history of Russia.
A high artistic benchmark was set for the factory from the first decades of its foundation and it has never been lowered afterwards. The factory still preserves the basis of hard triaxial porcelain production technology. This technology, developed in the middle of XVIII century but improved with modern methods, allows producing porcelain of the highest quality in Russia.
Close connection with the tradition and reverential attitude to quality enabled to preserve handicraft techniques for production of ware, including hand casting and hand painting. Meticulous work of the factory craftsmen always gives birth to refined and impressive handiworks.
Together with the traditional handicraft production technologies, the factory makes active use of the latest technological innovations, for example, 3D modeling which allows scanning and reproducing the most complicated things such as “Nationalities of Russia” sculptures.
The Imperial Porcelain Manufactory reverently approaches the product choice set and never produces occasional works. Variety of presented products gives wide freedom of choice to porcelain lovers. Nowadays the Imperial Manufactory produces about 4000 names of articles in the widest range: from tea, coffee and dinner services, genre and animalistic sculptures, decorative dishes — to banquet president services and governmental presents for leaders of foreign countries, prizes for the largest competitions and festivals. Over the course of decades, the branded service of the factory “Cobalt Net”, the gold medalist of the World Exposition in Brussels, has been in high demand. The factory actively reproduces the articles of imperial times, produces porcelain replicas from the museum collections. The factory is especially proud of renovated ceremonial service of the first half of XIX century “Aleksandriya” manufactured at the direction of Nicholas I of Russia for the empress Aleksandra Fedorovna in 1828.
Apart from reproductions and replicas of the ancient articles, the factory assortment is always extended with specialties. And this is due to the creative team: currently 23 artists and sculptors work for the factory under the guidance of the Chief Artist N.L. Petrova. Some craftsmen were granted the title of honor “Honored Artist of the Russian Federation” and other significant awards and works of these craftsmen are exhibited both in prominent museums and private collections.
Nowadays the admirers of Imperial porcelain may appreciate the beauty of original articles in the State Hermitage Museum, Russian Museum, Tsarskoye Selo and Peterhof, Moscow State Historical Museum, as well as abroad, in London Victoria and Albert Museum, New York Metropolitan Museum of Art, National Museum of Finland and many private collections.
The Imperial Porcelain Manufactory is an established supplier of the Kremlin of Moscow. Porcelain articles of the IPM are often donated as a present to foreign diplomatic delegations and state top leadership, thus confirming its high status of exclusive supplier. Modern ceremonial services, exclusive vases, decorative sculptures enrich the residencies of the Russian President, leaders of foreign countries, expositions of the largest museums of the world. The articles of the Imperial Porcelain Manufactory with hand-made gold painting were on the tables served for the top public officials during celebration of the 300th anniversary of Saint Petersburg and at the G8 summit.
In 1993 the factory became a joint-stock company and in 2005 returned its historical name — Imperial Porcelain Manufactory. The museum, founded in 1844 at the direction of Nicholas I of Russia as a depository of samples worth studying and copying, works and grows rapidly. At the present moment this museum is under the supervision of the State Hermitage Museum. Also the Gallery of Modern Porcelain Art was founded under the factory. Practicing artists exhibit their works there and the Gallery workers organize master classes and excursions to production sites.
The Imperial Porcelain Manufactory is constantly developing, improving and actively participating in art exhibitions of Russia and abroad, opening new brand and partner shops, performing large governmental custom orders, implementing social and charitable programs and striving to please and surprise all admirers of porcelain with high-quality products and new interesting projects.