Francis Gardner was an English merchant, who founded a porcelain production plant in the village of Verbiltsy (now Verbilki) in 1766. Gardner's porcelain plant became very successful, largely due to Johann Miller, who worked at the plant and was familiar with the new porcelain formula, developed by D. Vinogradov and implemented in Gardner's products. Between 1778-1783, Gardner's plant produced four tableware sets for Catherine the Great, one for each of the orders, Order of St. George, Order of St. Andrew, Order of St. Alexander, and Order of St. Vladimir. These sets were produced to be used during receptions in honor of new recipients of each of the orders. Thanks to the great job, done on these sets, Gardener became the official supplier of porcelain to the Russian Imperial Court. In 1891, the plant was sold to another porcelain merchant and producer, Matvey Kuznetsov.