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Plate, Qianlong c.1750, with the arms of Parker of Bradkirk Hall

This plate of extremely unusual design, to date the only piece seen of this service, will be illustrated in the third volume of Chinese Armorial Porcelain. The edge of the plate has a sharply barbed and gilded rim within which are petal-moulded panels, also edged in gold, creating an overlapping stylised open lotus flower. This Chinese form, redolent of an earlier period, is highly unusual (possibly unique) on European export armorial tableware of the mid 18th century. The central cartouche is also painted in the Chinese taste with two deer in a rocky landscape beneath a pine tree, both auspicious symbols of longevity.

The arms are of Parker of Derby and of Bradkirk Hall, Lancashire. A further service with the same arms impaling Wale (for a marriage) is recorded but not illustrated in Volume II of Chinese Armorial Porcelain where it mentions also that a Captain Thomas Parker of the East Indiaman Augusta was at Canton in 1749 and 1754, although it is not known if he bore these arms.

An early armorial bookplate of 17th century design was made for Christopher Parker (1684-1713) of Bradkirk Hall, Lancashire, who succeeded to the family estate in 1695. Educated at Gray’s Inn and Oxford, he was a member of parliament 1708-13. Leaving no issue, the estates passed to his uncle’s son, Thomas Parker, but were sold in 1723. The commissioner of the porcelain was almost certainly closely related.

Provenance: with Elinor Gordon label.

Reference : This service to be illustrated in a third volume of Chinese Armorial Porcelain by David S. Howard

Condition : Rim break between 12.30 and 2 o’clock, further bisected by a hairline crack, all now consolidated and very faint; minor edge chips filled.

Size : 9 inches diameter

Stock Number : 43939

Price : £1,650

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