The first porcelain manufactory in Russia was founded in 1744. The factory produced wares exclusively for the Russian Imperial court and the ruling Romanov family.
This Russian porcelain was similar to German porcelain in composition, although made from of Russian ingredients. In the beginning, its decoration was monochrome and simple but by the 1760s, fine miniatures were being decorated with gold leaf from gold coins from the Imperial Treasury.
In 1765, the factory was named the Imperial Porcelain Manufactory (IPM). The permanent orders from the Court let IPM maintain the highest quality.
In 1806, Napoleon imposed a Continental Blockade, under which the importation of porcelain into Russia was banned. The Imperial Porcelain Manufactory was divided into a department for producing expensive low-profit Royal presents and a department producing ordinary porcelain for consumers among the Russian nobility.
After the abolition of serfdom in Russia in 1861, the Imperial Court’s orders decreased. The porcelain was produced mainly on old models mainly with purely ornamental decoration rather than paintings of landscapes.
The factory’s fortunes revived at the beginning of the 20th century. IPM porcelain was famous for its exceptional quality and the Imperial Porcelain Manufactory became one of the leading porcelain factories in Europe. The Art Nouveau style influenced the shapes of its wares, with whimsically curved forms decorated by stylized plants, mermaids and other Art Nouveau motifs. Vases usually had underglaze decoration, often painted with seasonal landscapes.
After the Revolution of 1917, the factory was renamed the State Porcelain Factory and it began producing “propaganda wares”, ranging from plates to figurines of the Soviet elite, as well as dinner sets.
After the Soviet Era, in 1993, the name was changed to the Lomonosov Porcelain Factory and, in 2005, it was changed back to the Imperial Porcelain Manufactuory. It now produces dinner sets, collectable plates, vases, figurines other porcelain based on designs used through the factory’s history.