Soup plate, Qianlong c.1740, with the arms of Smith impaling Horne
This early Qianlong soup plate with unusual baroque design was made for Thomas Smith, a London merchant, who marred in 1725 Culling Horne, the sister and co-heir of John Horne, Governor of Bombay, and died in 1744. One of four services with the arms of Horne (three en grisaille) made in the period 1735-40 which coincides exactly with John Horne’s tenure of the governorship between 1734 and late 1739, who certainly will have placed these orders, and possibly also the two similar services for the Upton and Stephens families.
The heraldic cartouche on the Smith / Horne plate copies a baroque design which resembles stonework sculpture, and features on only two other armorial services, both of this date, and both with similar diaper work at the rim and sepia flower sprays. The first has the arms of Upton, also a London merchant family with East India interests; the second has the arms of Stephens. All three services almost certainly ordered at the same time and through the same agent, probably Governor Horne himself.
Reference : Howard, David S.; Chinese Armorial Porcelain, Volume I, pp. 245-46 for all three services with similar baroque cartouche.
Condition : Rim hairline consolidated and almost invisible; reverse rim chip filled.