Of cylindrical form, 4¾” tall, with C-shaped handle at the back and indented foot, the armorial is painted in layers of underglaze blue wash giving definition. The arms are of Glover of Norfolk, as granted in 1611 and borne in the mid 17th century by William Glover of Campsey Ashe in Norfolk. A similar service is known in Bow porcelain.
There are several possibilities for ownership. Two bookplates in the Franks Collection have exactly these arms, though in different style. The first (BM 12032) of about 1760 is for ’Bonouvrier Glover’ (1739-80) a naval captain and friend of Admiral Cornwallis who married in 1765 Anne Champion de Crespigny. The second bookplate (BM 12035), c.1780, is engraved ’Richd. Glover Junr’ for his younger brother (1750-1822) a member of parliament.
Both were sons of Richard Glover (1712-85) author of Leonidas and a founding governor of the Foundling Hospital, also an insurance broker of Exchange Alley (the firm of Glover & Madockes is recorded in 1763) and later a politician. In 1756 Richard sued his wife for divorce, recorded in parliament as An act to dissolve the marriage of Richard Glover, with Hannah Nunn his now Wife, and to enable him to marry again. It was the only divorce recorded that year, and one of only sixteen that decade. He himself was the son of another Richard, a Hamburg merchant of London, as had been his father before him.
Very probably related to this London merchant family was Captain Alphonsus Glover of the East India Company, who visited Canton at least twice, and died there while in command of the Duke of Cumberland during the 1765/6 trading season, being buried on French Island in the Pearl River. On an earlier visit to Canton in the 1753/54 season he commanded the Warren which had had a disastrous maiden voyage to India on account of a storm off the coast of Malabar, and there is correspondence regarding this with Samuel Braund, the ship’s husband (agent) and the part-owner and a director of the EIC Richard Chauncey. Capt Glover commanded the Warren on all four voyages and is later listed as one of the owners. An earlier grisaille snuff box is recorded but not illustrated (in a Sotheby sale of 1964) and the assumed date of this may correspond with the date of Glover’s earlier voyage to Canton, while the tankard would certainly accord with an order placed on the second voyage.
Illustrated in the catalogue of The Ed Eckenhoff Collection of Antique Tankards. An identical tankard of the same size (see third image) illustrated: Pinto de Matos, Tankards and Mugs; Drinking from Chinese Export Porcelain, pp.306/7 (Jorge Welsh Publishing, 2016).
Reference : Howard, David S.; Chinese Armorial Porcelain, Volume II, p.414 (with further information added above)
Condition : Interior rim chip at the back filled, slightly discoloured; handle break consolidated and secured.