A rare and monumental Soviet porcelain kumys pot for the Mongolian People's Republic, Lomonosov State Porcelain Factory, Leningrad, 1939
- porcelain, paint, glazing
When work on the commission began in 1938, Serafima Yakovleva designed a form exclusively for the project, taking inspiration from Chinese pottery in the collection of the State Hermitage Museum. The massive and sturdy pot was meant not only for holding and serving large quantities of kumys, but also for its lengthy preparation process. Ivan Riznich then designed the decoration, based on regional decorative motifs and the sacred animals of the nomadic peoples of Mongolia. All the animals depicted can produce milk used for making kumys. Red stars are incorporated, symbolising the Soviet liberation and the Socialist future of the Republic.
The original commission was for 400 vessels, but it is not known how many were actually produced and delivered. Only two other kumys vessels from the commission are known to have survived, both in private collections. The present lot can be said to be among the rarest examples of Soviet porcelain.
We are grateful to Natalia Petrova and Dr Karen Kettering for their assistance in researching and cataloguing this lot. For a more detailed essay on this lot, written by Dr Kettering, based on original research by Ms Petrova, Curator of the Lomonosov Porcelain Museum, St Petersburg, please visit sothebys.com.