Gzhel is a traditional Russian craft, a special kind of ceramic painting. White and blue colors are traditionally used to produce Gzhel pottery. A broader meaning of the name of Gzhel, which is correct from the historical and cultural point of view, is a vast area comprising 27 villages combined into a Gzhel cluster. It is located about 60 kilometers from Moscow. Currently, the Gzhel cluster makes a part of the Ramensky Urban District of the Moscow region.
At the end of the 17th century, by order of Tsar Alexey, Gzhel began to produce pharmaceutical and alchemical vessels for government buying, and in the 1740s, chemist Dmitry Vinogradov produced the first Russian porcelain articles from the local clay. Until the mid-18th century, Gzhel manufactured pottery common for that time, produced bricks, earthenware pipes, glazed tiles and primitive toys for children. Gzhel masters devised warm-colored enamel, which was used to cover majolica. After 1802, when light gray clay was found near the village of Minino, the semi-faience production originated in Gzhel, which was used to produce a great number of kvas jugs, jars and kumgans. In approximately 1800, the Kulikov brothers found a composition of white faience mass in the village of Volodino of the Bronnitsy District. In about 1800-1804, the first porcelain factory was founded over there. White and blue painting appeared at the Gzhel enterprises in the early 19th century. Gzhel factories began to produce faience products. Gzhel produced sculptures, interior items, hand basins and candlesticks. Gzhel masters used only manual modeling and painting for all of their goods.
After the revolution, industrial production in Gzhel ceased, so, porcelain and faience items were produced by handicraftsmen. The only enterprise that did not stop the production was the Dunashovs' factory, where more than 20 painters worked simultaneously. In 1945-1949, the third stage of the Gzhel craft development began. The use of cobalt paints on white clay became predominant. A special atlas of strokes was compiled to unify the production style. Painter N. Bessarabova was invited to the enterprise, and she developed a new white and blue style of Gzhel products. Today, several operating plants in Gzhel produce not only tableware and figurines, but also ceramic tiles, clocks, chandeliers and telephones.
The postage stamps provide images of souvenirs: a pancake plate with a cat (porcelain, 2020, Gzhel Porcelain Factory Museum); jewel box Morozko (porcelain, 1980) and a kvass jar (majolica, 1792) (both from the Gzhel Art Workshops Museum); and sculpture Tea Party (porcelain, 1966, Kuskovo Estate Museum, Moscow).
In addition to the issue of the postage stamps, JSC Marka produced First Day Covers and special cancels for Moscow, Veliky Novgorod and Rechitsy of the Moscow Region, as well as a maxi-card, and an illustrated envelope with postage stamps and a label inside.
Design Artist: Kh. Betredinova.
Face value: 25 rubles.
Stamp size: 30×42 mm, 42×30; sheet size: 146×175 mm, 175×146 mm.
Emission form: sheets with formatted margins with 15 (3×5) and (5×3) stamps.
Quantity: 120 thousand each stamp (10 thousand each sheet).