Under the direction of Konrad Sörgel von Sorgenthal from 1784 until 1805, the Imperial Porcelain Factory of Vienna developed a unique style of decoration based on a rich new palette of colors (such as the café au lait ground used here) and improved methods of gilding. The simplified cylindrical shapes provided ideal surfaces for painting the large landscape views popular since the 1770s. Porcelain decorators, now trained in art academies, rivaled the finest painters of late eighteenth-century Europe. Decorating this tea set are miniature views of Pavlovsk Palace and park, the summer residence near Saint Petersburg of the Russian imperial family.
Manufacturer Vienna Porcelain Factory, Austrian
  • Teapot
Date ca. 1804
Medium Hard-paste porcelain with polychrome decoration and gold
Dimensions Overall (teapot): 4 7/8 × 5 7/8 × 3 3/8 inches (12.4 × 14.9 × 8.6 cm)
Overall (cover): 7/8 × 2 inches (2.2 × 5.1 cm)
Credit Line Founders Society Purchase with funds from the Visiting Committee for European Sculpture and Decorative Arts
Accession Number 1988.69.2
Department European Sculpture and Dec Arts
On View Decorative Arts S350, Level 3 (see map)
Marks Mark, incised: X
Mark, in underglaze blue: [shield]
(Armin B. Allen, Inc.);
1988-present, purchase by the Detroit Institute of Arts (Detroit, Michigan, USA)
You, Yao-Fen. “From Novelty to Necessity: The Europeanization of Coffee, Tea, and Chocolate.” In Coffee, Tea, and Chocolate: Consuming the World, ed. Yao-Fen You, Mimi Hellman, and Hope Saska. Exh. cat., Detroit Institute of Arts. Detroit, 2016, p. 33; 50 (ill.); 134, cat. 46.