Coffee Service

Maker: Johan Henrik Blom (Finnish, master 1766, died 1805)

Artist: After a painting by Pietro Rotari (Italian, Verona 1707–1762 St. Petersburg)

Date: 1773

Culture: Russian, Saint Petersburg

Medium: Silver, parcel gilt, enamel, wood

Dimensions: See individual pieces

Classification: Metalwork-Silver In Combination

Credit Line: Rogers Fund, 1947

Accession Number: 47.51.1–.5


The service is thought to have been given by Empress Catherine II to Count Pyotr Rumiantsev, governor of the Ukraine and leader of the victorious Russian forces in the war with Turkey (1768–74). Enamel portraits on the utensils depict the imperial line from Peter the Great to Catherine II to her son, later Paul I. Facing are: Catherine II on the coffeepot, the empress Elizabeth on the teapot, the empress Anna on the bowl, Peter III on the cream jug, and Catherine I on the sugar-box lid. The shape and decoration recall silver utensils made in northern Germany, especially Berlin. German silver was highly esteemed in Russia, where a large German artistic community had influenced the transmission of Western forms since the time of Peter the Great. The goldsmith, born in Vyborg at the Gulf of Finland, might also have spent time in northern Germany during his journey years.