- Museum number
Chinese porcelain coffee cup and saucer, painted in England. The base of the saucer is inscribed with the reign mark of the Emperor Yongzheng (1723-35) in underglaze blue within a double
ring. Both cup and saucer are decorated in enamels with delicate, sparsely arranged multi-coloured butterflies, beetles and other insects and with sprays of rose, lily-of-the-valley and bluebells, and inside the cup are two further flowers.
- Production date
Diameter: 10.80 centimetres (saucer)
Height: 6.10 centimetres (cup)
- Curator's comments
- Harrison-Hall and Krahl 1994:
The cup and saucer were produced at Jingdezhen, Jiangxi province, and were decorated in England, in the workshop of James Giles (1718-80; see also BM Franks. 654). Giles acted as a retailer as well as a decorator and had a considerable number of employees. English decoration of Chinese porcelain is generally confined to smaller pieces, possibly due to the prohibitive cost of ornamenting larger pieces of dinner services which could have been more cheaply purchased fully decorated in China (Godden, 1979, p. 358), or due to the fact that few large plain white pieces were available. It is extremely unusual to find a Chinese reign mark on a piece later decorated in Europe. A similarly marked bowl is in the Watney collection (fig. 159; courtesy of Dr. Watney). Another unmarked plate of this design is in the British Museum (BM Franks.1448b); and a vase with moulded decoration overpainted in this way is in a private collection (Godden, 1979, no.285). This design also occurs on English porcelain.
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
1994, Taiwan, National Museum of History, Ancient Chinese Trade Ceramics
1995 27 Jan-26 Mar, London, BM, G91, East Meets West: Chinese Trade Ceramics in the British Museum
- Registration number