Tea canister & cover, Kangxi c.1720, with the arms of Pulteney
A rare and early armorial tea canister of canted rectangular form with original cover, Kangxi c.1720, from a very fine service made for the Right Hon. William Pulteney (1684-1764) a prominent Whig statesman during the reign of Queen Anne and Secretary at War under her Hanoverian successor King George I.
With his contemporaries Robert Walpole and Spencer Compton, William Pulteney was a rising star of the emerging Whig party in the early 18th century, supporting the supremacy of parliament and a constitutional monarchy. The accession of George I in 1714 brought the Whigs to power and all three men to high office, Pulteney being made Secretary of State for War. All three ordered armorial services at this time.
In the reign of George II, both Pulteney and Compton were alienated by Walpole, Pulteney becoming the leader of the opposition to him. On the eventual collapse of the Walpole ministry in 1742, Pulteney was charged with forming a new administration, effectively prime minister for just two days, but offered the post to Compton, accepting a peerage as Earl of Bath later that year. A gifted and cultured man, he was one of the founders of the Royal Academy of Music, commissioning operas by Handel among others.
Provenance: from the Weld Collection
Reference : Howard, David S.; Chinese Armorial Porcelain, Volume I, p.184
Condition : Cover break consolidated and very small rim chip filled - otherwise, the base perfect and all enamels and gilding original