A Chinese export armorial meat dish with the Royal coat-of-arms of Prussia, Qing dynasty, circa 1755
- 41.5 cm, 16 3/8 in.
Beurdeley, Porcelain of the East India Companies, 1962, p. 195, cat. 195;
C. Le Corbeiller, China Trade Porcelain: Patterns of Exchange, 1974, pp. 80-83;
Hervouët and Bruneau, La Porcelaine des Compagnies des Indes à Décor Occidental, Paris, 1986, fig. 14.32, p. 334;
Victoria and Albert Museum, Chinese Export Art and Design, London, 1987, no. 46;
R. Krahl and J. Harrison-Hall, Ancient Chinese Trade Ceramics, Taibei, 1994, no. 124, pp. 278-279; Kerr and Mengoni, Chinese Export Ceramics, London 2011, pp. 54f;
Butz (Ed.), China und Preußen - Porzellan und Tee, Exhibition catalogue, Berlin 2012, pp. 14-17.
This meat dish and the following two lots are believed to belong to the celebrated export dinner service ordered by the Prussian East India Company as a gift for King Frederick II, who founded the Company in 1750. Frederick II had recently established trade links with China through the port town of Canton and in 1755, one of the four ships sailing for the Company, the 'Prince of Prussia', was taking some of this service from China to Emden when it ran aground on the East Friesan island of Borkum. The precious cargo was salvaged, taken to Emden and the surviving pieces were sold at auction in 1764.
About 153 pieces from this service were acquired in the late 19th century by the Hohenzollernmuseum. Similar examples to the present lot can be found in other notable museums across the world including the British Museum, the Victoria and Albert Museum, and the Royal Museums of Art and History in Brussels. 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.