A rare and attractive Chinese export porcelain saucer dish hand-painted with the central Arms of Boudinot from a service made for Philadelphia lawyer Elias Boudinot (1740-1821).  Boudinot was not only a lawyer (attending Princeton), but also a statesman, early abolitionist, and advocate for women’s rights. During the Revolutionary War he was an intelligence officer and prisoner-of-war commissary under General George Washington. The dinner service was gifted to him by the Continental Congress in recognition of his service as President of the Congress in 1782, the same year he was the signatory of the Preliminary Articles of the Peace Treaty with England, i.e. the Treaty of Paris. After the war he was elected to three terms in Congress and in 1795 he became Director of the United States Mint.

It was not especially popular to use heraldic devices to demonstrate social standing before the American Revolution, so it is very unusual to order a service decorated with the family coats-of-arms after the War. Measuring 8 1/2″ in diameter and other than some very minor rim frits it is in very good condition. Illustrated and discussed in Howard’s Chinese Armorial Porcelain, Vol II, page 684, as well as Schiffer’s China in America, page 51, as well as there being an example in the collections of the U.S. State department. Circa 1785 – 1795. $5500.

And with much appreciation to Ched & Sandy Cluthe for sharing their thorough and brilliant research with us.