Uppsala Auktionskammare, 1 December 2006, lot 1335
The vase was presented to Phillip Schou to thank him for his rendering assistance to the painters of the Russian Imperial Porcelain Factory in mastering the art of underglaze painting. Alexander III, a connoisseur and collector of works of art, displayed a keen interest in the artistic activities of the Imperial Porcelain Factory. It was he who initiated the world- famed « Copenhagen » method of decorating porcelain products at the factory. Meeting the wishes of the Emperor, Phillip Schou not only acquainted Dmitry Nikolaevich Guryev, the director of the Russian Factory, who came to Denmark in May, 1892, with the up-to-date technology of production at the Royal Manufactory, but he also sent the chief artist Karl Frederik Liisberg to train Russian masters in underglaze painting techniques.
This vase was delivered to Schou in August, 1893 (Russian State Historical Archives, fund 503, inventory 1/1478/2014, file 47, page 9). In his letter to Guryev from August, 27, 1893 Schou acknowledged the receipt of the gift and thanked, describing the beauty of the vase with admiration: «Dear sir, with the greatest pleasure I received your letter from August, 5/17 in which you kindly notified me that His Majesty the Emperor had deigned to present me a vase of your manufactory. Today, I have this magnificent thing and an official notification on behalf of the imperial minister in Copenhagen. There is no necessity to tell you about my feeling of great gratitude when I received this illustration of His Imperial Majesty's favour. I hope I will have an opportunity to express my most respectful gratitude during the stay of His Majesty in Denmark. Though I feel some awkwardness, that you overestimate a little attention which you allowed me to devote to your manufactory, I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your favour, that you have kindly informed in the higher spheres about it and that you have kindly chosen such a magnificent thing for me. What an excellent shape, what a brilliant background, what an artistic decor! We all looked at this vase with admiration as we could not have made anything so successful. I would be very glad, if in the future you allowed me to be at your service, and, dear sir, accept my expression of the deepest devotion and respect. Phillip Skou» (Russian State Historical Archives, fund 503, inventory 1/1478/2014, file 47, page 9, quoted by Tamara Nosovich).
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