13 River Street Windsor, VT 05089 , United States Call Seller 802.356.7112


Chinese Export Rococo St. James Armorial Tankard, 18th Century

$ 2,750
  • Description
    This hand-painted, famille-rose and gold porcelain tankard has a Western armorial shield with three scallop shells of Saint James around a white chevron on a blue field beneath a stag. The shield is mounted on and held erect by an elaborate gold Rococo support and is surrounded by a landscape vignette with trees, bushes, and flowers. The rim is decorated with a beige stripe over a band of inverted fleurs-de-lis. There is a sprig of flowers between the handle and the armorial on each side of the tankard. The ear-shaped handle is plain, with small areas of glaze flaking from two hundred-fifty years of use.

    The scallop shell is the symbol of St. James, a disciple and cousin of Jesus. St. James was a fisherman who took the scallop shell as the symbol of his spiritual and physical journey through life, which ended in northern Spain. The 18th century person who acquired this armorial for himself and his descendants probably took the scallop shell device as his own because of his actual pilgrimage to Campostella following in the footsteps of St. James. It does not represent this person's family name, which in not identified - it is the original owner's personal device. The scallop shell reminds the viewer to focus on the life of St. James, his hard times, his battle with anger and disdain, his self-improvement and his ultimate reaching of redemption and sainthood by following the teachings of Jesus. This is why I attribute the armorial to someone who made the famous pilgrimage. Everyone in his day would have known the reference and its meaning. The chevron's armorial symbolism, moreover, is the sign of protection and shelter - or of a great accomplishment such as a long and arduous journey.
  • More Information
    Documentation: Signed
    Origin: China
    Period: 18th Century
    Materials: Hand-thrown and hand-painted porcelain with underglaze enamels.
    Condition: Good. Wear consistent with age and use. Slightly rough edges of glaze on handle only. Slight fading on rim band from contact with lips. Both issues are common for its age and use.
    Creation Date: 1740
    Styles / Movements: Chinese Export, Rococo, Bespoke
    Patterns: Animal/Insects, Beach/Nautical, Handmade
    Dealer Reference #: C-PM16-1
    Incollect Reference #: 483854
  • Dimensions
    H.2. 4.75 in; Diam. 3.75 in;
    H.2. 12.07 cm; Diam. 9.53 cm;
Message from Seller:

Robert James Walsh & Company is a thirty-year-old Vermont business dealing in antiques, art, and modernism. Robert Walsh, owner, is also an Accredited Member of Appraisers Association of America, as well as a respected consultant. We have participated in many international trade shows in the US and Canada.

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