Though this imposing facade could represent a number of great 17th century houses, it has always been thought to be Burghley, both because of an English Delft prototype and because of the finely painted grisaille Chinese export porcelain punchbowl depicting the house and still in the collection there.
Built over the course of 32 years (1555-87), Burghley House is a recognized masterpiece of Tudor architecture. The home was designed by its owner, William Cecil, who was made Lord Burghley in 1571 after Elizabeth came to the throne.
There are three known renderings of Burghley House on Delftware: one currently in Burghley House; one in the Glaisher Collection at the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge; and one formerly in the Harriet Carlton Goldweitz Collection, Sotheby's, New York, 20 January 2006, lot 52. Examples of export plates with this same view are recorded in Howard, The Choice of the Private Trader, p. 87, no. 74; Howard and Ayers, China for the West, vol. I, pp. 260-2, no. 257; and Hervouët and Bruneau, op. cit., p. 243, no. 10.19.