POPOV MANUFACTORY, MOSCOW, 1830s
Height of the girl 13 cm, of the boy 11.5 cm.
with blue underglaze and impressed manufactory marks
Hugely popular, from the second half of the 18th century, among the wares produced by European porcelain factories were the graceful statuettes of the “Children Gardeners” series. These figures were first made at the Meissen porcelain manufactory, however, it is not quite clear precisely which figures of this series were brought together into a unified group or when. Following the example of master craftsmen at the leading European factories, porcelain manufactories in Russia also began to develop this theme, particularly the Imperial Porcelain, Gardner and Popov manufactories. As a rule, private producers borrowed the figures that were in demand at the Imperial Porcelain Factory, and turned for the original models to Meissen sales catalogues, where the little figures might go together in elegant pairs, but also be sold individually. Various designs were used for colouring the brightly painted figurines. The proportions of the figure, the details of the costume (bodice with piping and bows at the shoulders, pinafore, long skirt, slippers with bows, and bonnets), and the ill-formed plinth with gilded rocaille patterns incline towards and are similar to German models, but at the same time preserve their special local colouring.