The painting entitled O the Roast Beef of Old England ('The Gate of Calais') was painted in 1748 by William Hogarth (1697-1764), one of the greatest political satirists of the day, and is now in the Tate Britain, London. See above for Hogarth's notes of his visit to France in 1748, a version of which accompanied the prints, which were first published in March 1749 (see Hogarth, exhibition catalogue, The Tate Gallery, London, 2 December 1971 - 6 February 1972 by Lawrence Gowing, p. 58, and the oil painting as no. 136, p. 73). The painting, buying into the rampant anti-Gallic sentiment of the time, was a popular success. The huge side of beef, which bears an indistinct label inscribed For Madm. Grandsire at Calais, was destined for the Lion d'Argent, the English inn at Calais, to where Hogarth was sent following his release from prison and remained until he was able to return to London. The joint of beef is being enviously observed by the scrawny French soldiers, the Irish mercenary soldier, and the Jacobite figure to the right. It is also being poked by the only well-fed Frenchman in the scene, a plump friar. It is probably an engraving of March 1749, by C. Mosley and William Hogarth, which would have been sent to China for the Chinese artists to copy, which they did with great accuracy, leaving out only minor details such as the hand of the soldier on the artist's shoulder (here replaced by a halberd protruding from the side of the building). A small number of punch bowls copying different prints by Hogarth are also recorded, but these, like the present bowl, display exceptionally high quality enamelling.
This remarkable bowl would appear to be one of only two recorded. The other, possibly the pair to this bowl - but apparently with slight differences in the palette - was sold at Sotheby's London, 6 November 1973, lot 225. It was illustrated in The Chinese Porcelain Company, A Dealer's Record 1985-2000, New York, 2000, pp. 150-151, and is now in an American private collection.
A pair of punch bowls decorated with the same scene was ordered by Thomas Rumbold, who served in the East India Company, however he had the arms of France and England substituted for his own arms. One of these is in the Victoria & Albert Museum (see Chinese Export Art and Design, The Victoria and Albert Museum, ed. Craig Clunas, London, 1987, no. 55; and David S. Howard, Chinese Armorial Porcelain, London, 1974, pp. 366-367). The other bowl with Rumbold arms, originally in the collection of Mrs. Rafi Y. Mottahedeh, was sold Sotheby's New York, 27 January 1988, lot 436, and prior to that was sold at Christie's, 2 March 1976, lot 343. A large vase with the same scene and with the arms of France and England, from the collection of the late Nelson & Eloise Davis, was sold at Christie's New York, 23-24 January 2002, lot 126, and is now in a private collection, and is illustrated by Maria Antónia Pinto de Matos, The RA Collection of Chinese Ceramics: A Collector's Vision, London, 2011, pp. 214 - 216, no. 313; this vase was probably made a couple of decades after the punch bowls.