Speed Skater (Фигуристка Конькобежка). Original model by Oksana Leontyevna Zhnikrup. Made at ZHK Polonne - Polonsk art ceramics plant (Полонский фарфоровый завод художественной керамики). Porcelain, polychrome overglaze. ZHK Polonnoe backstamp (ЗХК Полонский з-д) from 1950-s to 1973. 5½" x 4" 2½". Fine condition, no defects, no restoration. Book value is $70-$100.
Polonne 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.