A beautiful example of this well-known Scottish armorial, most likely from a service ordered for Sir Alexander MacDonald, 9th Baronet, who was created baronet in 1776. The arms are that of MacDonald accollee with Forbes and represents the shields of both families with a knight’s helmet crest, a palm rising from behind, it’s fronds supporting a banner reading “Per Mare Per Terras”. A further crest centers the top of each dish, a forearm and hand clenching a cross, a banner beneath this image reads “Nes Tempore Nec Fato”, the banner draped from branches of a grapevine that forms the border of the piece. Discussed in Howard’s Chinese Armorial Porcelain, Vol. I, page 279. The attention to detail is quite amazing, for not only is each piece painted beautifully, but they are also molded with the veins of the leaves down the center. Measuring 4 1/4″ x 3 1/4″ and, with the exception of some very minor fritting to the edges, in very good condition. Circa 1795.
An especially lovely example of Chinese export porcelain made for the English market, this elegant 9″ plate is decorated in famille rose enamels with the arms of Napier of Ballikinrany. The design is centered with a quatrefoil reserve with a European town scene, the family arms rest on the bottom border, and their crest at the top, alternating with two charming scenes within rococo cartouches that are usually associated with the “Valentine pattern” depicting such romantic imagery as a pair of faithful dogs, and a pair doves resting upon Cupid’s quiver while a heart burns upon an altar of love. Very good condition with only a very minor line sealed. Illustrated in Howard’s Chinese Armorial Porcelain, Vol. I, page 320. Circa 1745.
A very attractive pair Chinese export armorial soup plates of early American interest from a service ordered for a commander in Washington’s army, Major-General William Alexander. William Alexander was born in new York and served as commander of the American Militia regiment throughout the War of Independence, and was soon promoted to the rank of Major-general. He was one of Washington’s most able and trusted military subordinates, held in such high regard that Washington gave him command of the entire Continental Army for nearly two months. Throughout his life he unsuccessfully claimed the disputed title of Earl Stirling, and is known as “Lord Stirling”. One of the very few American market services bearing a full coat of arms. Illustrated in Schiffer’s China for America, page 53, as well as other publications, and exhibited in several museum collections. This service has descended directly in the Alexander family. Excellent condition.
A fine example of this well-known Chinese export porcelain made for the English Market, bearing the Arms of Mertins impaling Peck, and finely rendered in early, Yongzheng period, famille rose enamels. Sir George Mertins was a Sheriff of Essex in 1705 and a Lord Mayor of London in 1725. His son, John Henry Mertins married one Elizabeth Peck in 1717 and it is most likely for that union that this service was ordered. The flamboyant armorial is centered within a gilded and iron red cell-work border with reserves of Daoist emblems; the outer rim border with meandering flowering vines and peony blossoms. Measuring 9 3/4″ in diameter, and in very fine condition with the exception of a star line to the glaze on the reverse. Illustrated in Howard’s Chinese Armorial Porcelain, Vol. I, page 213. Circa 1725.
Of impressive size and fine decoration, this Yongzheng armorial charger is painted in the famille rose palette that was just being developed about the time this service was ordered by Daniel Tuineman the Younger on a trip to China in 1732-33. The elaborate central armorial quite possibly includes a play on words as the Dutch word for “fence” sounds similar to the surname of this family; hence the gladiator figure standing in a fenced arena. The diapering in the cavetto, and the grisaille and gilded flowering branches, in reserve against the grisaille cellwork border, all display the quality so typical of the Yongzheng period. 15 1/4″ in diameter. Some minor surface abrasion and very small lines sealed in the rim, otherwise great condition. Circa 1732-33. Discussed in Kroes’ Chinese Armorial Porcelain for the Dutch Market, page 151.
A especially fine rendition of a Chinese export armorial service special ordered for the English Market, this wonderful soup plate has an exuberantly painted full Arms of Pigot centering the design, surrounded with a gilded diaperwork cavetto and spearhead- bordered rim. The service was made for George Pigot of Patshull, Staffordshire, who became Governor of Fort St. George, Madras from 1755-63 and again in 1775-77 where he died under mysterious “confined” circumstances. He was created a baronet in 1764. 9″ in diameter. Excellent condition. Illustrated in Howard’s Chinese Armorial Porcelain, Vol. I, page 251.
Fine Armorial Undertray
This attractive Chinese export porcelain reticulated oval undertray is from a service ordered for John Jeffreys Pratt, Earl Camden, who was created Lord Lieutenant of Ireland in 1798, and later was Chancellor of Cambridge University. His descendant, the present Marquess Camden, still resides in England. There are examples of this service in the collections of both Winterthur and the American Museum in Bath. It is in excellent condition, measuring 8 ¾” x 7 ¼” and is illustrated in Howard’s Chinese Armorial Porcelain, Vol. I. Page 765. Please note the use of over glaze blue in the border, typical of this period, circa 1800.