Dmitrovskii Porcelain Factory

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Dmitrovskii Porcelain Factory


one of the largest centers of artistic decorative porcelain manufacturing in the USSR. Located in the village of Verbilki, Moscow Oblast, it was founded in 1766 by F. la. Gardner. Beginning in 1891 the factory was owned by M. S. Kuznetsov.

After beginning with the creative redesigning of Western European patterns like the dinner and tea sets made for the court, called order sets (1777-80 and 1783-85), and the figurines representing characters from the Italian folk comedies (1770-1790’s), the Dmitrovskii Porcelain Factory developed its own original style at the beginning of the 19th century, in which the Empire style was combined with genre scenes and vivid coloration of the decoration as a whole. In this style were produced figurines of city dwellers copied from the etchings in the collections The Magic Lantern (after 1817), cups with portraits of the heroes of the Patriotic War of 1812, and sets with genre scenes or with bright flower decoration. In 1833 the factory mastered the production techniques of faience dinnerware and in the 1840’s of opaque, the highest grade of faience. The Gardner porcelain became a standard of quality for other private Russian factories.

However, in the second half of the 19th century, the high artistic level of manufacture deteriorated. The predominance of trite methods of decoration, the introduction of transfer printing (decalcomania) with reproductions of conventional paintings, and the trend to commercialize led to the decline of the plastic and decorative quality. Some originality is preserved in the “eastern” (for the Middle East) and “tavern”dinnerware with its bright, festive paintings and in certain exhibition articles executed after artists’ sketches.

Workers of the factory organized several times to demand improvements in their exceptionally poor living conditions. The first protest of workers was in 1805, and beginning in 1905 their strikes took on political overtones.

Under the Soviet government the Dmitrovskii Porcelain Factory has been reconstructed and expanded. In 1937 an art laboratory was organized at the factory. In the prewar years the factory began to revive the forms of dinnerware (K. G. Tikhonov) and the patterns of small figures of plastic art (S. M. Orlov). Since 1953 the search for artistic solutions called for by the mass production of porcelain and based on its inherent properties has assumed a systematic character, resulting in patterns by A. I. Shobanov and Lu. B. Ganrio; decorations by E. P. Smirnov; and sculptures by D. V. Gorlov, M. E. Permiak, and C. I. Vainshtein-Mashurina.

The products of the Dmitrovskii Porcelain Factory have been displayed at more than 100 foreign exhibitions in 40 countries. Many articles created by its artists and craftsmen are in the factory museum and in other museums of the country and abroad. The Dmitrovskii Porcelain Factory was honored with the gold medal at the Paris World’s Fair in 1937 and with the silver medal at the Brussels World’s Fair in 1958. In honor of its 200th anniversary in 1966 the factory was awarded the Order of the Red Banner of Labor.


Chernyi, N. V. Farfor Verbilok. Moscow, 1970.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.