REF No. 6358
Chinese export porcelain armorial pitcher and cover, arms of Richardson
Qianlong period circa 1765
Height: 15 inches; 38cm
A large Chinese porcelain pitcher and cover painted in famille rose enamels with a large coat of arms and with scattered flowers and further copies of the crest.
The arms are for Richardson, granted to William Richardson of Rotherhithe in 1765: Or three palettes gules, on a chief embattled vert, as many lions’ heads erased of the first.
Crest: out of a mural coronet or, a demi lion rampant gules holding between its paws a guidon argent, charged with a slip of oak proper, fructed of the first, the staff and tassels of the last.
In pretence: Argent on a chevron sable a mullet of the field (for Mixfine of Cambridgeshire) but if the mullet is ‘for difference’ then it could be a number of families, Howard suggests it might be Trelawney. The family of Archdeacon of Cornwall also has just Argent a chevron sable. Alfrey of Gulledge, East Grinstead, Sussex has Argent on a chevron sable a fleur-de-lys of the field, which is very similar but no corresponding marriage has been found for any of these.
The ‘in pretence’ coat suggests a marriage with an heiress. The Gentleman’s Magazine Vol 36 (1766) has a marriage announcement for William Richardson of Rotherhithe to a Miss Coulton, also of Rotherhithe, but there is no corresponding coat of arms of Coulton. Burke has Colton: Sable, a saltire engrailed between four crosses crosslet or.
William Richardson was the son and heir of John Richardson of Rotherhithe and Newdigate. William was a timber mechant, dealer and chapman closely associated with ship building, so he would have had connections to the East India Company Trade and a desire to acquire a Chinese dinner service. By 1772 he was declared bankrupt and his estate at Milland, Sussex was being sold to pay creditors. The decoration on this service is quite simple but Howard 1974 notes that on the plates the four crests around the rim all face the same way which he says is unique.
References: Howard 1974, p481 a plate from this service; William Cave writing under the name Sylvanus Urban, 1766, The Gentleman’s Magazine, Vol 36; Tudor Craig 1925, p77, a pitcher with the arms of Parker, p73, a pair of pitchers and covers with the arms of Mawbey imp. Pratt.