This teacup and saucer formed part of the Raphael Service, the most elaborate and decorative service produced at the Imperial Porcelain Factory in St. Petersburg during the second half of the 19th century. Commissioned in 1883 for the Russian palace of Tsarskoe Selo, it was intended for fifty persons, with plates made in five different sizes. The designs for the service, based on the interior decorations of the Raphael Loggia in the Vatican, were created by the artistic director of the factory Leonard Schaufelberger and were later developed by artists S. Romanov and M. Mateev. Mythological scenes and classical arabesques are bordered by classical ornamentation in vivid colours. The service was produced over two decades and was finally completed in 1903. It was delivered to the porcelain storage of the Imperial Palace at Tsarskoe Selo for the personal use of the Dowager Empress Maria Fedorovna.