Flora Danica was first commissioned by Crown Prince Frederik at the Royal Copenhagen
Porcelain Manufactory which was founded in Denmark, in 1775. According to
tradition the service was intended as a gift for the Empress Catherine the Great
of Russia, an enthusiastic collector of porcelain. Porcelain had become a
matter of royal prestige since the recipe for this 'white gold' had been rediscovered
in Europe in the beginning of the century. The 18th century was also the age
of enlightenment and sensitivity, and Europe was fascinated with botany. It
was for this reason that the king chose to have Danish flora and fauna depicted
on this gift service.
The creation of the Flora Danica service was an immense task. It
became the life's work of one of the most gifted artists of the late 18th century,
and one of the greatest porcelain painters, Johann Christoph Bayer. The long and
laborious process commenced in 1790 and took 12 years to complete.
The service was made up of 1,802 different pieces of hand-moulded and hand-painted
The Mewar Collection, (housed in Fateh Prakash Palace along with the Crystal Gallery)
itself acquired from a royal household, is a revival of the old dinner service which
follows the classical pearl form - a design rich in shapes of flowers and leaves,
indented rims, numerous lace-like carvings and meticulous, intricate details.
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