- Museum number
Blue-and-white serving platter with an English coat of arms. In the centre of this blue-and-white serving platter, within an octagonal frame, is a coat of arms. Its shield shows a lion striding on its back legs, the helmet above bears elaborate plumes, and the crest is a lion standing on all fours on a coronet. A ribbon for the motto below has been left blank. The cavetto is painted with Chinese antiques such as porcelain vases, scrolls and books. At the top within a double circle, the lion crest is repeated. The outer edge of the rim is moulded in relief with a ribbed border and raised ridge.
- Production date
- 1690-1710 (circa)
Diameter: 52.10 centimetres
Height: 4.70 centimetres
Weight: 3.55 kilograms
- Curator's comments
- Harrison-Hall and Krahl 1994:
The charger was made for the Rt. Reverend William Talbot (1658 - 1730) while he was Bishop of Oxford, and bears his coat of arms. The arms, crest and mantling have been copied from one of his bookplates (see, for example, BM Franks 28869). Talbot was also a distinguished member of the House of Lords, renowned for his extravagance. An. engraving by George Vertue (1684 - 1756) after Sir G. Kneller, also preserved in the British Museum (BM 1858.0213.212), shows him somewhat later, in 1720, as Bishop of Salisbury, wearing the robes of Chancellor of the Garter. The engraving was later inscribed 'And now Lord Bishop of Durham 1722'.
This piece is part of the earliest known fully armorial table service, decorated in underglaze blue, made to order for the English market. An identical service but with a different coat of arms was made around the same time for Talbot's son-in-law, Exton Sayer ( Howard, 1974, p. 164). Both stylistically and from the quality of its materials, this charger may be dated to the Kangxi period (1662-1722). The shape of this octagonal serving platter with ribbed edge is found in silverware of the period and was also copied in Dutch Delft faience. A smaller Delft plate of the same shape and with the same border but painted with a Dutch interior scene is in the Musee de Cinquantenaire, Brussels, Belgium (Hudig, 1929, pl. 205). An identical platter is in a private Brazilian collection (Veiga, 1989, pl.13) and an oblong octagonal platter of the same service is in the Mottahedeh collection (Howard and Ayers, 1978, vol. I, pl.40).
- On display (G1/wp124)
- 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
2012 22 Jun-2013 6 Jan, Beijing, National Museum of China, ‘Passion for Porcelain’
- Registration number