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This plate is decorated with a ‘cornucopia’ motif, developed around 1750 and widely reproduced for nearly half a century. Here, sprays of flowers emerge from a ‘double cornucopia’. Large carnations in red and blue, and, more unusually, yellow and black, create a vividly colourful design. The phoenix and scattered flowers, birds and insects that embellish the background are equally inspired by Japanese art and derive from the stylistic traditions of Kakiemon ceramics.

The quality of pieces such as these varies – the most beautiful and richly ornamented date from the middle of the 18th century. Around 1760, Tsar Peter III ordered a cornucopia dinner service for one of his favourites, Count Golowine.