Tankard, Qianlong c.1750-53, arms of Vavasour accollé with Chaplin
The service was made for William Vavasour (1698-1753) of Weston Hall in West Yorkshire. He married about 1730 Anne Chaplin, whose great-grandfather, Sir Francis Chaplin, a prosperous London merchant who left estates in Suffolk, Lincolnshire and Jamaica, had been Master of the Clothworkers’ Company and Lord Mayor of London in 1677/8. This service may have been for a twentieth wedding anniversary.
William Vavasour’s mother was Mary Fawkes of Farnley Hall in Yorkshire, for whose nephew, Francis Fawkes, an armorial service was ordered about 1760.
William and Anne left several children, of whom their eldest daughter, Mary Vavasour, married in 1758 Captain William Candler of Callan Castle in Co. Kilkenny, Ireland.
William Vavasour died in 1753, clearly providing a latest date for this service.
This elaborate and colourful armorial in the rococo style has two shields placed side by side (accollé) for a marriage in which the Vavasour arms are on the left side as viewed, and the Chaplin arms on the right. It is an arrangement that on Chinese porcelain is seen more often on continental services, particularly for the French market.
Only 24 services are recorded with arms accollé in CAP volumes I and II, with a further nine services in the, as yet unpublished, CAP III research files. This form of marshalling arms in British heraldry is generally used (rather than an impalement) when a man is the holder of an Order of Chivalry, the insignia of which would encircle his arms and which his wife cannot share; the two shields must therefore be displayed separately. However, it is also deployed for stylistic reasons and usually lends itself well to a pleasing overall decorative design.
Reference : Howard, David S.; Chinese Armorial Porcelain, Volume I, p.564