Dessert plate from the 'Frog service'

Contributed by The Wedgwood Museum

Wedgwood plate made for Empress Catherine of Russia in 1773/74. Image courtesy The Wedgwood Museum Trust, Staffordshire.

The frog symbol personalised this service. Catherine's palace stood on marshy ground, and was known as 'the froggery'.Queen's ware dessert plate painted in monochrome with a 'View of Castle Acre Castle, Norfolk'.
This was the first dessert plate to be decorated for this service however it was incorrectly painted with the oak-leaf border of the dinner wares and, therefore, could not be sent to St Petersburg. The service was ordered in 1773 by Empress Catherine II of Russia for the Chesme Palace - at one time called La Grenouillere or Kekerekeksinen because of its location on a frog marsh, which explains the green frog emblem on every one of the 952 pieces of the service. The Frog Service enshrines not only English style at the time but also the very idea of a nation. The fact that Wedgwood was commissioned to supply the service for Catherine II demonstrates the esteem in which the company was held across the world.

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