• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 7581

    Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art Including Export Art

    13 May 2008, London, King Street

  • Lot 292

    A FINE ARMORIAL SOUP-PLATE WITH THE ROYAL ARMS OF PRUSSIA

    CIRCA 1750-57

    Price Realised  

    A FINE ARMORIAL SOUP-PLATE WITH THE ROYAL ARMS OF PRUSSIA
    CIRCA 1750-57
    Finely enamelled in iron-red, black, blue, green and flesh tints, with gilding and oxidised silver, the centre with the arms of the Hohenzollerns encircled by the collar and badge of the Order of the Black Eagle adorned with a Maltese Cross, the coat of arms surmounted by a helmet, crown, and flanked by 'wild men' supporters holding standards bearing black and red eagles, standing on a bracket inscribed with the motto GOTT MIT UNS, all envelopped in an ermine cloak forming a canopy surmounted by a further crown and eagle, the foliate border with a larger crowned eagle interupting the gilt narrow band at the rim, each of the eagles with the initials FR for Frederick II, King of Prussia
    9 in. (23 cm.) diam.


    Contact Client Service
    • info@christies.com

    • New York +1 212 636 2000

    • London +44 (0)20 7839 9060

    • Hong Kong +852 2760 1766

    • Shanghai +86 21 6355 1766

    This service is believed to have been ordered by the Prussian East India Company as a gift for King Frederick II, who in 1750 founded the Company. It was based in the German port of Emden, and was disbanded in 1757 as a result of the Seven Years' War. In 1755, one of the four ships sailing for the Company, the Prinz von Preussen, which was taking some of this service from China to Emden, ran aground on the East Friesan island of Borkum, and the damaged pieces were salvaged, taken to Emden and offered at auction in 1764. For a detailed account of this service, see C. Le Corbeiller, China Trade Porcelain: Patterns of Exchange, 1974, pp. 80-83, and a soup-tureen as no. 32. About 153 pieces from this service were acquired in the late 19th Century by the Hohenzollernmuseum.

    Similar plates to the present lot can be found in the British Museum, illustrated by R. Krahl and J. Harrison-Hall, Ancient Chinese Trade Ceramics, Taibei, 1994, no. 124, pp. 278-279, and by M. Beurdeley, Porcelain of the East India Companies, 1962, p. 195, cat. 195; in the Victoria and Albert Museum, illustrated Chinese Export Art and Design, London, 1987, no. 46; in the G. Hiard Collection, illustrated in colour by Hervouët and Bruneau, La Porcelaine des Compagnies des Indes à Décor Occidental, Paris, 1986, fig. 14.32, p. 334; and in the Royal Museums of Art and History in Brussels, exhibited Chinese Export Porcelain, Hong Kong, 30 November 1989 - 27 February 1990, no. 106. A pair of yet rarer plates with these arms but with a Meissen-style gilt lacework border is in the Helena Woolworth McCann Collection in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, illustrated by C. Le Corbeiller, op.cit., no. 32, p. 81.

    Other pieces from this service are in the Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten, Berlin, Schloss Charlottenburg, Berlin, Kunstgewerbemusem, Berlin, Huis Doorn, Doorn, The Netherlands, and in the Hodroff Collection, amongst others. A wine cooler from this service was sold in these Rooms, 15 June 1999, lot 219, and a plate was sold, also in these Rooms, 15 November 2000, lot 296.

    Special Notice

    VAT rate of 5% is payable on hammer price and at 15% on the buyer's premium