The collections of Western European applied art
were put together gradually during two centuries.
Although originally most of the objects were seen
simply as elements of interior decoration, now they
enable us to trace the development of craft and
industry in Western Europe. Silver services and other
utensils, porcelain and small sculptural items,
furniture, tapestries, decorative textiles, decorative
stonework, carved ivory, maiolica, glassware,
decorative bronzes and other items, were acquired
from the reign of Peter I onwards. In terms of
quantity, variety and quality, this is one of the largest
collections not only in Russia but also in the world.