Imperial Glass Factory

Portrait of Ippolit Monighetti at the age of 20 by Karl Bryullov.
Portrait of Ippolit Monighetti at the age of 20 by Karl Bryullov.

In 1777, in St. Petersburg, by order of Count G. A. Potemkin, glass and mirror factories were built not far from the Alexander Nevsky Lavra in the Obvodny Canal area. Over time, a whole complex of structures related to glass production grew here. Factory workers also settled here. This place became known as the Glass Town. After the death of the count in 1791, the factories were bought out by the treasury, and this is how the Imperial Glass Factory appeared.

Decanter and glass from the service of the imperial yacht Derzhava designed by Ippolit Antonovich Monighetti (1819 1878), Imperial Glass Factory, circa 1970.
Decanter and glass from the service of the imperial yacht Derzhava designed by Ippolit Antonovich Monighetti (1819 1878), Imperial Glass Factory, circa 1970.

The Imperial Glass Factory produced high-quality artistic products for decorating palace interiors. Many of them were made according to the designs of outstanding architects who created the unique appearance of St. Petersburg: Thomas de Thomon, C. Rossi, A. Voronikhin.

Tripod vase designed by Jean François Thomas de Thomon (1760 1813), Imperial Glass Factory, first quarter of the 19th century.
Tripod vase designed by Jean François Thomas de Thomon (1760 1813), Imperial Glass Factory, first quarter of the 19th century.

Ippolit Antonovich Monighetti, a Russian architect and watercolorist, academician and professor at the Imperial Academy of Arts, was born into the family of a Swiss mason Antonio Monighetti, who lived and worked in Moscow. Having successfully graduated from the Stroganov Art School, he entered the Imperial Academy of Arts in 1834, where his mentor in architecture was Professor A.P. Bryullov, the elder brother of the famous painter Karl Bryullov. Monighetti, who worked a lot on orders from the royal family and the highest aristocracy, is better known as an ornamentist and creator of drawings for artistic and industrial production.

Vase designed by Carlo Rossi, height 72 cm, Imperial Glass Factory, bronze foundry of A. Schreiber, first quarter of the 19th century.
Vase designed by Carlo Rossi, height 72 cm, Imperial Glass Factory, bronze foundry of A. Schreiber, first quarter of the 19th century.

At the Imperial Factory they used painting with gold, silver, enamel paints, engraving and etching with a solution of hydrofluoric acid, “diamond edge” and cutting. Some of the factory’s products were used as diplomatic gifts. The plant sold part of its products through its own store (until 1856) and several merchant shops. The plant’s artistic products have always been a great success at Russian and international exhibitions. At the end of the 19th century, the Imperial Glass Factory was merged with the Imperial Porcelain Factory.

Ruby glass vase designed by Carlo Rossi (1775 1849), Imperial Glass Factory, bronze foundry of A. Schreiber, first third of the 19th century.
Ruby glass vase designed by Carlo Rossi (1775 1849), Imperial Glass Factory, bronze foundry of A. Schreiber, first third of the 19th century.

After the Napoleonic War, the Imperial Glass Factory produced a series of cups and glasses decorated with white glass medallions with commemorative inscriptions and images of Russian commanders. On the first cup with the imperial monogram of Alexander I there is an inscription in gold letters: “In memory of the capture of Paris on March 19, 1814”; on the second, an allegorical figure of Glory is depicted flying over a map of Europe, indicating the locations of major battles.

Emperor Nicholas I built a small summer palace in Peterhof for his wife Alexandra Feodorovna. In her honor, the estate was named Alexandria, and the palace in the neo-Gothic style was called “Cottage”. A special coat of arms was invented for the palace, which is depicted on the facades of the building and repeated in its interiors: a white sword on a blue background, drawn through a wreath of snow-white roses, and an inscription in gold letters: “For the Faith, the Tsar and the Fatherland.” The coat of arms was invented by the poet Vasily Andreevich Zhukovsky at the request of Nicholas I. The medieval motifs of the coat of arms in the shape of a shield correlate with the neo-Gothic style of the cottage, and the white rose was the Empress’s favorite flower.

Sketches of glassware by Ippolite Monighetti, 1861 and 1865.
Sketches of glassware by Ippolite Monighetti, 1861 and 1865.
Foot with gilding and painting, height 11.5 cm, late 18th early 19th centuries, Imperial Glass Factory.
Foot with gilding and painting, height 11.5 cm, late 18th early 19th centuries.

The Imperial Factory produced sets with the image of the coat of arms. Stained glass windows (a completely new thing for Russia) were also developed there for the Gothic Chapel, built next to the palace.

In 1839, artists Terebenev and Semechkin (Semyachkin) invented a new method of printing on glass and ceramics. In the early 1840s they worked at the Imperial Glass Factory, producing glass with printed images of the imperial family, as well as copies of popular sets of engravings. Eventually they founded their own workshop.

Two cut glass goblets, Imperial Glass Factory, circa 1814.
Two cut glass goblets, 1814.
Cameo vase made of acid etched laminated glass, height 18 cm, Imperial Glass Factory, 1906.
Cameo vase made of acid etched laminated glass, height 18 cm, 1906.
Cameo vase made of acid etched laminated glass, height 40 cm, Imperial Glass Factory, 1911.
Vase made of acid etched laminated glass, height 40 cm, 1911.
Cameo vase “Geraniums” made of multilayer crystal with acid etching according to the design of R.F. Vilde, carver D.P. Lukin, Imperial Glass Factory, 1910.
Cameo vase “Geraniums” made of multilayer crystal with acid etching according to the design of R.F. Vilde, carver D.P. Lukin, 1910.
Cameo vase designed by B. Reinhardt, carver D.P. Lukin, Imperial Glass Factory, 1901.
Cameo vase designed by B. Reinhardt, carver D.P. Lukin, 1901.
Figured vessel “Duck” designed by I.I. Murinova, length 15.3 cm, Imperial Glass Factory, late 19th century.
Figured vessel “Duck” designed by I.I. Murinova, length 15.3 cm, late 19th century.
Glass decanter, enamel painting, height 26 cm, Imperial Glass Factory, circa 1880.
Glass decanter, enamel painting, height 26 cm, 1880.
Glass vase from the reign of Alexander III (1881 1896), painted with enamels in the Chinese style, Imperial Glass Factory.
Glass vase from the reign of Alexander III (1881 1896), painted with enamels in the Chinese style.
Shtof, with glasses and tray according to the design of V.I. Sychugov, Imperial Glass Factory, circa 1880.
Shtof, with glasses and tray according to the design of V.I. Sychugov, Imperial Glass Factory, circa 1880.
Decanter, with glasses and tray according to the design of V.I. Sychugov, Imperial Glass Factory, circa 1870.
Decanter, with glasses and tray according to the design of V.I. Sychugov, Imperial Glass Factory, circa 1870.
Pair of green glass vases painted in gold, height 35 cm, Imperial Glass Factory, circa 1870.
Pair of green glass vases painted in gold, height 35 cm, Imperial Glass Factory, circa 1870.
Vase of opaque pale green glass, painted with oriental enamels, height 25.5 cm, Imperial Glass Factory, circa 1870.
Vase of opaque pale green glass, painted with oriental enamels, height 25.5 cm, Imperial Glass Factory, circa 1870.
Polychrome glass vase depicting birds in a mountain landscape, painted with enamels and gold, Imperial Glass Factory, 1867.
Polychrome glass vase depicting birds in a mountain landscape, painted with enamels and gold, Imperial Glass Factory, 1867.
Milk glass vase in oriental style, painted by I. I. Murinov based on a drawing by L. P. Bonafede, height 80 cm, Imperial Glass Factory, 1867.
Milk glass vase in oriental style, painted by I. I. Murinov based on a drawing by L. P. Bonafede, height 80 cm, Imperial Glass Factory, 1867.
Blue glass vase in Oriental style, height 24.5 cm, Imperial Glass Factory, circa 1860.
Blue glass vase in Oriental style, height 24.5 cm, Imperial Glass Factory, circa 1860.
Vase on a stand made of ruby glass with gold painting, height 48.5 cm, Imperial Glass Factory, mid 19th century.
Ruby glass with gold painting, height 48.5 cm, Imperial Glass Factory, mid 19th century.
Vase of two layer (colorless and amethyst) glass with a carved rim, on a complex figured leg, height 31 cm, Imperial Glass Factory, circa 1830 1840.
Vase of two layer (colorless and amethyst) glass with a carved rim, on a complex figured leg, height 31 cm, 1830-1840.
Vase on stand, height 56 cm, Imperial Glass Factory, circa 1830 1840.
Vase on stand, height 56 cm, Imperial Glass Factory, circa 1830 1840.
Cup with the image of the medal composition “For the establishment of a fleet in Russia”, engraver Johann Gube, height 21.5 cm, Imperial Glass Factory, circa 1843.
Cup with the image of the medal composition “For the establishment of a fleet in Russia”, engraver Johann Gube, height 21.5 cm, 1843.
Three frosted glass decanters in a silver frame with monograms of Grand Duke Alexander Nikolaevich, the future Emperor Alexander II (frame by Karl Johann Tegelstein), height 35 cm, 1849.
Three frosted glass decanters in a silver frame with monograms of Grand Duke Alexander Nikolaevich, the future Emperor Alexander II (frame by Karl Johann Tegelstein), height 35 cm, 1849.
Pink glass milk jug (Imperial Glassworks), in a silver frame by Karl Johann Tegelstein, (1798 1852), height 30 cm, 1848.
Pink glass milk jug (Imperial Glassworks), in a silver frame by Karl Johann Tegelstein, (1798 1852), height 30 cm, 1848.
Pair of cobalt glass glasses with portraits of Emperor Nicholas I and Empress Alexandra Feodorovna, Imperial Glass Factory, circa 1840.
Pair of cobalt glass glasses with portraits of Emperor Nicholas I and Empress Alexandra Feodorovna, 1840.
Decanter and glasses from the service of the Cottage Palace in Peterhof, Imperial Glass Factory, circa 1830.
Decanter and glasses from the service of the Cottage Palace in Peterhof, 1830.
Glass with the image of A.V. Suvorova, Alexander Barmin, Imperial Glass Factory, circa 1820.
Glass with the image of A.V. Suvorova, Alexander Barmin, 1820.
Glass with the image of Count Platov, by Alexander Barmin, Imperial Glass Factory, circa 1914.
Glass with the image of Count Platov, by Alexander Barmin, 1914.
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