Soup plate, Yongzheng c.1735, with the arms†of Chapman
A nine inch soup plate, c.1735, from the earlier of two services made for John Chapman, which can be precisely dated by the change in heraldic status on his second service of three years later (see below).† On this service the Chapman armorial is surmounted by the left-facing helm with closed visor of a gentleman which indicates that he had not yet succeeded to his fatherís baronetcy which he would do in 1737, nor does it show his 1736 marriage to Rachel Edmondson.
The complex armorial†on a service made c.1738 (see second image) for Sir John Chapman, now 2nd Baronet, shows his changed social status.†The heraldry now shows a knightís helm (forward facing with open visor) with the Chapman arms in the top left quarter of the shield, surmounted by the baronetís badge of the íRed Hand of Ulsterí .†Placed in the centre, together with other quarterings, are the arms of his heiress wife, Rachel Edmondson, who he married in 1736.
John Chapmanís grandfather, Sir John Chapman, a London merchant and mercer, had been elected Lord Mayor of London in October of the momentous year of 1688, the year of the íGlorious Revolutioní.† On the 18th December King James II fled to France, throwing the Great Seal into the River Thames as he went, deemed to be a sign of abdication.† The Corporation of the City of London was in the unique position of being autonomous from the now-vacant Crown and it fell upon Chapman as Lord Mayor to summon a new parliament to invite William of Orange and his wife Mary, the daughter of James II, to become joint monarchs, placing severe limitations on the role and power of future royal authority.† Sir John was overwhelmed by his responsibilities and died of apoplexy in early March while in office.
Provenance : Formerly in the Dent Collection with old label on the reverse.
Reference : Howard, David S.; Chinese Armorial Porcelain, Volume I, p. 293. This service is also represented on the dust jacket of this volume by a coffee pot with the arms of Chapman.
Condition : Shallow divided break within rim at about 7 o’clock and separate long rim crack at about 11 o’clock - both consolidated and barely visible; enamels very bright.