Dessert plate of Catherine the Great
Made at the Sèvres porcelain factory; painted by Vincent Taillandier (1736-90); gilded by Jean-Pierre Boulanger (1722-85)
Soft-paste porcelain, painted in enamels and gilded
Museum no. 449-1921
Bequeathed by D.M. Currie. Formerly in the collection of Catherine the Great, St Petersburg
This plate is from one of the most expensive services ever made at the French royal factory of Sèvres. Comprising 800 pieces and serving 60 diners, it was commissioned by Catherine the Great of Russia. It was the first service made in the new Neo-classical style at Sèvres. Catherine herself closely supervised the pattern, and the plates alone were redesigned eight times before she was satisfied.