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A guglet, Qianlong c.1750, with the arms of Emmett quarterly with Dare and St George quarterly in pretence

A 10 inch guglet or water bottle from a hitherto unrecorded service and the only piece known. The heraldry is unusually intricate and copied with precision by the Chinese painter from a finely engraved bookplate inscribed ’Mr Henry Emmett’.  [With thanks to Anthony Pincott, Hon Treasurer of The Bookplate Society, for providing the bookplate image.]

The arms are of Emmett quartering Hill (on the principal shield), with on an escutcheon of pretence in the centre, the arms of Dare quartering St George (and two other coats).

Made for Henry Emmett who married Clare St George Dare in 1744 at St Martin in the Fields, Westminster.  She was the great-grandaughter of Sir Thomas St George (1615-1703), son of Sir Henry St George, who became Garter King of Arms himself in 1686. The St George family were heralds over several generations at this time, of whom three became Garter Kings of Arms.

Henry Emmett died in 1756 leaving his library of books to the Society of Antiquaries, and a thirty-year-old widow. He was buried in Ruislip Church where a hatchment bears exactly the same arms.

Of particular note is the small shield carried by the crowned demi-lion (repeated on the St George quartering on the shield). This bears three gold crowns on a blue ground. In 1627 the College of Arms sent Sir Henry St George (father of Sir Thomas) to Sweden to invest King Gustavus Adolphus as a Knight of the Garter (the oldest chivalric order with 24 knights). He was granted the Swedish royal arms as an ’augmentation of honour’ on his personal arms. Sir Henry was also responsible for bringing Queen Henrietta Maria (wife of Charles I) to England and in 1644 was appointed Garter King of Arms but died that year.

Reference : This service to be illustrated in a third volume of Chinese Armorial Porcelain by David S. Howard

Condition : The neck reduced by about half an inch; some minor retouching

Size : 10 inches tall

Stock Number : 44198

Price : £2,250

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