Two dishes of graduated size, Qianlong c.1750, with the arms of Fanshawe
Two previously unrecorded graduated dishes of silver form, c.1750, with moulded and shaped edges, measuring 13.5 inches and 12 inches across, with the arms of Fanshawe of Fanshawe Gate, Derbyshire, and Dengie Hall in Essex.
The armorial on the porcelain copies almost exactly a bookplate which is inscribed Simon Fanshawe (Franks Collection F10197), for whom this service was made. See third image. [Bookplate image courtesy of Anthony Pincott, Hon. Treasurer, Bookplate Society.]
The arms in the 1st and 4th quarters (a chevron between three fleurs-de-lis) were granted to John Fanshawe of Fanshawe Gate in 1490. The 2nd and 3rd coats (a cross on a chequered ground) were granted as an honourable augmentation in 1650 to Richard Fanshawe of Ware Park, a royalist and diplomat whose father, Henry Fanshawe, had been Remembrancer of the Exchequer, an ancient judicial post held nine times by the Fanshawe family, the chequered background being a punning reference to the Exchequer. (An ‘augmentation of honour’ is an addition to a coat of arms, usually given by a monarch as a mark of favour or a reward for service.)
Richard Fanshawe was created a baronet later that year and served Charles II in exile in France during the Interregnum, returning with him at the restoration of the monarchy in 1660 and later brokering the king’s marriage to Catherine of Braganza. In 1644 he had married his 19 year old cousin, Anne Harrison who accompanied him as the exiled king’s emissary on foreign postings to the courts of Europe. During their years of travel she wrote a colourful and chatty account of their life and adventures as well as recording exotic recipes, which were later to be published as Mrs Fanshawe’s Booke of Receipts of Physickes, Salves ... and Cookery (now in the British Library).
By 1716 Sir Richard’s line had died out and seniority passed to descendants of his younger half-brother, of whom was Thomas Fanshawe of Fanshawe Gate and Dengie Hall, son of William Fanshawe and Mary Walters (alleged natural daughter of Charles II).
The porcelain was made for their son, Simon Fanshawe (1716-77) who was Comptroller of the Royal Household to George III, both as Prince of Wales and as King. In 1753 he married his first cousin Althea, daughter of his maternal uncle William Snelling of Holborn, who brought £17,000 to the marriage, a considerable dowry.
It is probable that this dinner service, copying Simon’s bookplate, was made for their 1753 marriage or for a similar important occasion since the finely painted borders, with unusual band of gilt acanthus leaf motifs at the well, appear on no other armorial service and clearly represent a special commission and perhaps a particular gift.
Extensive Fanshawe archives (1450-1950) and a portrait of Lady Anne Fanshawe are held at Valence House Museum, Dagenham. http://valencehousecollections.co.uk/object/fanshawe-archive/
Reference : This piece to be illustrated in a Supplement III to Chinese Armorial Porcelain by David S. Howard
Larger: Perfect. Small firing imperfection left of armorial.
Smaller: Perfect but for a small reverse rim chip filled behind one point.