The Imperial Porcelain Factory is a producer of hand-painted ceramics in Saint Petersburg, Russia (visit it during private escorted tours and excursions). It was established by Dmitry Ivanovich Vinogradov in the town of Oranienbaum (Lomonosov) in 1744. Many still refer to the factory by its well-known former name, Lomonosov Porcelain Factory. Founded in 1744, the porcelain factory was created by the order of Empress Elizabeth to «serve native trade and native art». The factory produced wares exclusively for the ruling Romanov family and the Russian Imperial Court.
The attempts to reveal the secret of porcelain making had been taken in Russia since 1718 visit of Peter the Great to Saxony, where he saw the Saxon invention at the Dresden Court. A talented mining engineer Dmitry Vinogradov who studied metal industry at Freiberg had invented the formula of the Russian porcelain. In 1744 Empress Elizabeth, daughter of Peter the Great, established the first porcelain manufactory in Russia.
«The Golden Age of Catherine» — the reign of Catherine II the Great — was the age of prosperity for the fine Russian porcelain. In 1765 the manufactory was renamed to the Imperial Porcelain Manufactory. From the very beginning of Catherine the Great’s reign IPM was obliged to produce fine porcelain and to bring profit. The Imperial Court’s need for porcelain was large and the permanent orders from the Court had let IPM keep to the highest quality of the expensive porcelain. By the beginning of the new 20th century the IPM had become one of the leading porcelain factories in Europe. IPM porcelain was famous for its exceptional quality. It was produced from paste made of the highest quality ingredients on up-to-date equipment. This paste was stored in cellars for 10 years before use in production.