Small hippopotamus (Маленький бегемот). Fine Lomonosov porcelain sculpted and hand painted. Approximately 2½" x 1½" x 3¼".
The hippopotamus is the third largest land animal (the elephant and rhinoceros weigh more). The name comes from the ancient Greek for "river horse". Even though they resemble giant pigs, they actually are related to whales, dolphins and porpoises. Hippos are gregarious and live in groups of up to thirty animals.
Two talented artists collaborated to produce many of the "Porcelain Zoo" animal sculptures. Porcelain painter Viktor Zhbanov and sculptor/modeler Pavel Veselov. The fruit of their cooperation produced unique figures that are natural and distinctive in their poses.
The Lomonosov Porcelain Factory (Ломоносовский фарфоровый завод) has had a long history, starting with its name. When founded in 1744, it carried the name Imperial Porcelain Factory (Императорский фарфоровый завод). In 1925, it became Lomonosov, named after the scientist and writer Mikhail Lomonosov (1711-1765). Finally, in 2005, it came full circle and was renamed the Imperial Porcelain Factory (or Manufactory), or IPM, for short.