The Imperial factory was commissioned to produce this service for the dowry of Grand Duchess Alexandra Nikolaevna (1825-1844), daughter of Emperor Nicholas I, who married Prince Friedrich of Hesse-Kassel on 28 January 1844. Alexandra became ill with tuberculosis shortly before her wedding, which complicated the pregnancy which soon followed. She was never well enough to travel to Hesse and assume her new position, instead remaining with her husband in St. Petersburg, where her health continued to decline; she died in childbirth on 10 August 1884. Thus this service remained practically unused, and pieces from it are rare.
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