A Yongzheng 8¾ inch plate, c.1733, finely decorated with the arms of Mucklow in the centre, within a scrolling border design of delicately entwined leaves, carnations and other flowers, and a diamond-form edging in a rich pink raised enamel, repeated again around the armorial. This distinctive border design is unique amongst British armorial services, as is the decoration around the fine baroque armorial in rich turquoise and sea-green enamels. The service was almost certainly made for Selby Mucklow, Quaker merchant of London and of Worcestershire.
A 14" dish and another plate from the same service are also available; see 43909 (dish) and 43911 (other plate) respectively for illustrations..
Interestingly the two 8¾ inch plates appear to have been made in separate batches. The bright green border leaves are here (43910) a more olive green, while the baroque cartouche is almost entirely painted in turquoise enamel. Also of interest is that the reverse of this plate, but not the other plate (43911) or the dish (43909), is decorated with four rouge-de-fer flower sprays, seen more often in services of the previous decade (see third image). It is possible that this was a left-over from the earlier rouge-de-fer service for this family.
The arms are those confirmed in the Heralds’ Visitations of Worcestershire 1533 to the Mucklow family of Areley Kings and the Manor of Martley, where this merchant family was seated from the 16th to 18th century. During the Civil War William Mucklow (d. 1686) was a prominent major-general in the royalist army. His son, also William, became a Quaker in London in 1652 and though at one point imprisoned for his beliefs, was influential in establishing a Friends Society meeting house at Bewdley in Worcestershire. He was also a Citizen and Fishmonger of London (one of the Great Twelve Livery Companies of the City of London, incorporated in 1272 and fourth in precedence). In 1670 he married Isabella Priscilla Selby and had two children, Selby and Elizabeth.
A fine early 17th century fruitwood standing cup, or goblet, was mounted in silver about 1670 for the marriage of William and Isabella. Known as The Selby Cup, it is now in the collection of the V&A Museum in London [W.31:1,2-1950].
On his death in 1713 William was succeeded by his only son Selby Mucklow, also a Quaker and recorded as a financial broker and merchant of Harp Lane in the City of London, for whom this service was made. Selby married Hester Birkhead in 1698 and died in 1746 leaving an only surviving child and heir, Priscilla (later Wragg), who died without issue.
Reference : Howard, David S.; Chinese Armorial Porcelain, Volume II, p.164. See also the same volume, p.143, for a rouge-de-fer service of c.1730 with similar armorial cartouche.
Condition : Consolidated rim break running within the flower border at 5 o’clock; just visible in the hand but presents well. Small reverse frits filled and some retouching of pink enamel and gold.