REF No. 6622
Chinese armorial porcelain blue and white charger with the arms of Ginori
Kangxi period circa 1699
Diameter: 16 inches; 41cm
A very large Chinese blue and white armorial charger with the arms of Ginori at the rim and borders of foliage copied from Delft, the base with lingzhi fungus inside a double circle
Castro (1989) had originally ascribed this service to Caldeira but he adds the now accepted attribution to Lorenzo Ginori, an Italian in Lisbon who ordered this service through the Portuguese East India Company - and the design is almost identical to a service with the Portuguese arms of Coelho, and a dish with the arms of da Costa. Examples are known from the service with the arms in the centre or at the rim as in this very large example.
The Ginori family was originally from Calenzano but moved to Florence in the 13th century becoming wealthy and significant members of the Republic. They flourished in the wool trade and extended their family network across Europe.
Lorenzo was the son of senator Carlo Ginori of Florence and Fiammetta Oricellari and he went to Lisbon in 1668 and was appointed Tuscan consul in 1676 by Cosimo III de Medici. His brother Francesco was made Tuscan consul in Cadiz, another brother Bartolomeo was made Danish consul in Seville and youngest brother Niccolo took over from Lorenzo in Lisbon before 1688.
Lorenzo built up contacts in global trade especially in Goa and Macao, from which he supplied Cosimo III with 'curiosities from the Indies' including Chinese porcelain (Chinese porcelain is recorded in Florence as early as 1463) and Lorenzo himself had a noted porcelain collection when he returned to Italy and became Provveditore in the Custom House at Livorno, circa 1689.
In the late 1690s Cosimo III commissioned an elaborate altar piece for the Jesuit Church in Goa. The pieces were made in Tuscany and were shipped from Livorno, and the arrangements for shipping, including passage of two engineers from Tuscany to Goa via Lisbon, were overseen by another of Lorenzo's brothers, Giovan Francesco (1668-1731) in Lisbon. The order for this service almost certainly went with them, along with the orders for the Coelho and da Costa services. Among the Ginori archives is a document showing that the service arrived in Livorno from Goa on 31 March 1699, in time for Lorenzo's marriage to Ann Maria Minerbetti. They lived in Palazzo Ginori in Via de' Ginori in Florence which was substantially redecorated at this time and where this porcelain would have been shown.
The family interest in ceramics continued as Lorenzo's son Carlo Andrea founded the Manifattura Ginori in Doccia.
References: Le Corbeiller 1974, p34, an example with the arms in the rim; Castro 1989, p43, a plate; Ginori Lisci & Listri 1988, Il Servito Ginori; Sargent 2012, p357, a plate; Antonella Alimento, ed. 2011, War, Trade and Neutrality: Europe and the Mediterranean in the Seventeenth and Eighteen Centuries, pp59-67; Viola, Antonella 2014, Trade and Diplomacy: the Ginori family’s trading network in the Iberian Peninsula (1660-1700); Alves et al 1998, p206-9, three similar items.