Soviet porcelain plate dated 1922 designed by Alexandra Shchekotikhina-Pototskaya, £12,000 at Chilcotts.

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Examples came in the shape of two 9¾in (24cm) diameter plates offered at Chilcotts (21% buyer’s premium) in Honiton, Devon, on April 13.

One plate dated 1922 that featured a figure of a commissar was a design by Alexandra Shchekotikhina-Pototskaya (1892-1967), a stage and costume designer who joined the State Porcelain Factory in 1918.

She worked at the factory in Petrograd (St Petersburg) until she moved to Paris in 1925 with her second husband, the artist Ivan Bilbin, returning to Russia a decade later to rejoin what was by then known as the Leningrad Lomonosov Porcelain factory.

While much early Soviet Revolutionary propaganda porcelain uses abstracted designs, Shchekotikhina-Pototskaya’s work is distinguished by its bright colours and costumed figures (often peasants or characters derived from Russian folklore) set alongside Soviet propaganda slogans.

Chilcotts’ plate showed the commissar in front of Palace (Uritsky) Square in St Petersburg with the General Staff building and Alexander Column in the background.

Many of these early post-revolutionary designs were painted onto blanks from the former imperial porcelain factory and this plate features the green imperial cypher for Nicholas II along with the blue hammer sickle and cog to the reverse as well as with the number 322/9 and the artist’s monogram. Estimated to take £400-600, it ended up selling for £12,000.


Marks on Soviet porcelain plate dated 1922 designed by Alexandra Shchekotikhina-Pototskaya, £12,000 at Chilcotts.

While substantially higher than the estimate, Shchekotikhina-Pototskaya’s porcelain designs have made more. German saleroom Lempertz, for example, sold a plate painted with a scene of a peasant dance for €33,480 (including premium) in 2017.

And in 2021 Sotheby’s sold a similar plate painted with a figure of a sailor from the Baltic fleet walking along a waterfront with buildings inscribed ‘celebrating 1 May in Petrograd [in the] year 1921’ for a premium inclusive £22,720.

Chimneys stack up


Soviet porcelain plate designed by Nina Zander, £7200 at Chilcotts.

The second Soviet Revolutionary-era State Porcelain factory plate at Chilcotts dated from 1919 and was designed by Nina Zandar with a more abstracted industrial scene of the silhouette of smoking factory chimneys.

It had the hammer, sickle and cog mark to the verso in overglaze blue also measured 9¾in (24cm) in diameter. Estimated at £1000-1500, it realised £7200.

Another 1919 version of this Zandar design featured in a 2019 sale at Sotheby’s where it made £9500.