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Soup plate, Qianlong c.1755, with the arms of Taswell

The Taswell family had long been merchants in the City of London from Elizabethan times. Dr William Taswell (1652-1731), who in 1666 had been page to the Dean of Westminster and witnessed the Great Fire of London, later wrote a vivid account of the event. The Chinese armorial service was made c.1755 for Dr Taswell’s son, the Revd. William Taswell (1708-1775), Rector of Wooton-under-Edge in Gloucestershire.

In his Will dated 1775 the Reverend William specifies that “I leave to my son George Taswell my two half pint silver cups and all such China in my possession as shall be found marked with my family’s arms together with his own picture".   At the time his son George “now residing as I suppose at Madras in India” was serving the East India Company as Colonel of ‘The Madras Terribles’.

George in turn bequeathed “the whole of the China ware on which are the arms of the family” in his own will in 1814 to his younger son George Morris Taswell (1784-1868).   Such specific contemporary records of Chinese armorial porcelain are exceedingly rare. 

George Morris Taswell, born in Madras, left India and settled in Kent with his new wife, Anne Gipps of Canterbury, who he married in 1813 in St Martins, Canterbury, where he was later buried in 1868.  Anne’s brother, Lt. Colonel Sir George Gipps, who is buried and has a fine monument in Canterbury Cathedral, was Governor of the colony of New South Wales and also of New Zealand, 1838-46.

Pair of soup plates available, very similar condition

Reference : Howard, David S.; Chinese Armorial Porcelain, Volume I, p. 362

Condition : Some tiny edge chips filled; otherwise perfect with enamels and gilding all original and extremely bright

Size : 9 inches

Stock Number : 44181

Price : £1,250

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