Estimated at £200-400, it sold for £15,000 at Claydon Auctioneers (19.5% buyer’s premium) in Middle Claydon, Buckinghamshire, on February 26.
Vorobyevsky, whose father was a lowly railway worker in Tankhoy on the banks of Lake Baikal, became one of the key artists associated with the former Imperial Porcelain Factory in the Soviet era.
Although celebrated both at home and abroad later in his lifetime (in 1969 he was elected People’s Artist of the RSFSR and the following year received the Ilya Repin State Prize), he began working as a porcelain decorator after graduating from the Pavlovsk art school in 1926. Accordingly, this vase, decorated with vibrantly-coloured floral blooms in the Art Deco taste, is one of Vorobyevsky's earliest works.
At the start of the Russian Revolution in 1917 the Bolsheviks nationalised and rebranded the Imperial Porcelain Factory as the State Porcelain Factory. On the 200th anniversary of the Russian Academy of Science in 1925, the company was again renamed as the Lomonosov Porcelain Factory in honour of the academy’s founder, Mikhail Lomonosov.
Vorobyevsky painted one of the most expensive pieces of Soviet porcelain ever seen at auction: a propaganda charger made in 1927 to mark the 10-year anniversary of the USSR sold by Sotheby’s for a 10-times-estimate £320,000 in June 2021.