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Case study

Queen Victoria's Russian Vase

Conservation of a monumental Russian vase

Conservator working on the porphyry vase

In May 1874, Alexander II gave Queen Victoria a vase and pedestal carved from Korgon porphyry. The entire vase took 18 months to produce and weighs over 600kg. The subtlety of the carving, featuring both highly polished areas and areas left matt, demonstrates the exceptional quality of the workmanship.

The vase was initially placed in the Sovereign’s Entrance at Windsor Castle, before being moved to the Crimson Drawing Room. It remained there until 1908, when it moved to the Orangery. It was placed in store from 1934 and at some point suffered some damage.

The vase underwent specialist conservation treatment in preparation for the exhibition Russia, Royalty & the Romanovs.

Watch this video to learn more about this monument ©

Learn more about this work:

Kolyvan Lapidary Manufactory
Vase and pedestal 1872
    RCIN 31653

    A solid grey marble Korgon porphyry two-handled vase. Carved from Korgon porphyry, much prized for its violet-grey hue and mounted via a cast iron rod onto the greenish-grey porphyry base, this vase was made at the Schlif / Kolyvan stone-carving factory and took 18 months to produce. The subtlety of the carving, which features both highly polished...

    Cog being picked up by tweasers