May Night (Майская ночь). Polonnoe Artistic Ceramics Factory (Полонский фарфоровый завод художественной керамики). 1970s. A romantic moment is depicted as Levko, the young Cossack, puts his arm around his beloved Hanna as she, in turn, lays her head upon his shoulder. Scene from the otherwise quite spooky short story "May Night" from Nikolai Gogol's "Evenings on a Farm Near Dikanka", that was made into an opera by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov. Original design by Ukrainian sculptor and ceramicist Oksana Leontievna Zhnikrup (the wife of Vladislav Ivanovich Shcherbina). Porcelain, polychrome overglaze Polonne backstamp that resembles a swan.11¼"x4⅝"x4¼". Fine condition, no defects, no restoration. Book value is $50-$70. 1 only.
Polonnoe is an ancient city in the Khmelnitsky region in western Ukraine. Originally it was built as a castle fortress on the banks of the Khomora river. Its recorded history dates 998. After passing through many regimes, Polonne's status as village was finally settled in 1938, when it became a city. Well before, in the 1880s, porcelain and earthenware was produced on the Polonsky estate. In 1895, an "artel" named Keramik, which is a cooperative of craftsmen, and the future Polonsky factory of artistic ceramics founded in 1956, was opened, which in turn, became a significant porcelain works churning out millions of porcelain products annually, including many unique and beautiful pieces. After Ukraine's Independence, it was privatized and still thrived. Over time, however, economic weakness and foreign porcelain imports coupled with tax inspection and pension funding forced the company into bankruptcy in 2011. The legacy still appears to exist through the Khmelnytsky Regional Museum.