Dish, early Qianlong c.1738-40, with the arms of Banks
An 11 inch dish with curving sides, early Qianlong c.1738-40, with arms recorded in the first volume of Chinese Armorial Porcelain as those of Banks, and made for William Banks, a wealthy merchant and the father of the naturalist Sir Joseph Banks, President of the Royal Society for forty years.
The fine border on this dish exemplifies the start of the decorative transition in armorial porcelain between the Yongzheng reign and that of the Qianlong emperor, and a move from Chinese influence to designs which would increasingly become predominantly of European taste. It has one of the earliest of the scenic panels (one of only two services to have these in combination with the gold vine pattern) decorated here in colour with a well-painted Chinese lake scene. These enamelled scenes would soon lose their colour and detail, and be painted en grisaille, and in the next decade would become Europeanised as Meissen-style panels which continued for some time in popularity. The bianco-sopra-bianco, or white enamel, on the rim is also typical of this transitional 1738-48 period, as is the short-lived gold vine decoration.
Provenance: from the Weld Collection.
Reference : Howard, David S.; Chinese Armorial Porcelain, Volume I, p.276
Condition : Rim haircrack consolidated and virtually invisible; reverse chip filled