‘Puss in Boots’ ('Кот в сапогах'). Gzhel backstamp, 4¾". 1 only, as shown.
‘Puss in Boots’ became a classic fairy tale when Charles Perrault (1628-1703) included it in his 1697 collection of fairy stories (an earlier version can be found in the 1634 Pentamerone, a collection of oral folk tales compiled by Giambattista Basile (1566-1632). A miller passes away leaves his three sons all he has: his mill to his eldest son, a donkey to the middle son, and his cat to the youngest son. He thinks he’s drawn the short straw with the cat, but the cat promises that if the son gets him some boots made, he will prove to be a worthy and helpful pet. Once the cat has some boots and a little bag he can wear, he goes off and hunts for rabbits, takes them to the King, and tells him that it’s a gift from the Lord Marquis of Carabas, the cat’s master. Eventually the cat ends up convincing the King, whose daughter has fallen in love with Lord Marquis of Carabas, of his master's pedigree. To convince the King of his master's legitimacy, they all approach a large castle, owned by an ogre who can transform himself into a lion as well as many other animals. Impressed and somewhat scared, Puss in Boots flatters the ogre into changing into a very small creature. Showing off his skills, the ogre transforms into a little mouse, and Puss in Boots, seizing his chance, promptly eats him up.