REF No. 6635
Chinese export porclain armorial plate with the arms of the Coopers' company
Qianlong period circa 1745
Diameter: 9 inches; 23cm
A Chinese export armorial porcelain dinner plate with a central coat of arms en grisaille, the rim with panels of harbour views in famille rose.
The arms are for the Coopers’ Company (simplified): Gyronny of eight gules and sable on a chevron between three annulets or a grose between two adzes azure; on a chief vert three lillies slipped and leved argent.
Crest: A demi heathcock with wings expanded azure powdered with annulets or, in the beak a lily argent.
Supporters: Two camels gules bridled or powdered with annulets of the last.
Arms granted in 1501
Howard 2003, lists 31 different livery companies with arms found on Chinese export porcelain but only three are known in this style, with the two vignettes on the rim showing Plymouth Harbour and Whampoa and the grisaille central arms. The others are the Poulterers’ and the Fishmongers’.
The Worshipful Company of Coopers is one of the oldest livery companies of London, founded some time in the thirteenth century and given a Royal Charter in 1501. It was a trade group representing the makers of wooden casks for the wine, beer and spirit trades. Its motto is ‘Love As Brethren’.
The cooper trade was important in the medieval and early modern periods. An image of a cooper making a cask is recorded in famille rose on a Chinese export porcelain teaservice, using an image taken from Jan Luyken’s book of Professions (see illustration).
References: Howard 1974, Vol 1, p329, this service.