Flask with Sampaio e Melo coat of Arms. High 14,5 cm, Qing Dynasty, Qianlong period
Lot 370
A fine and rare doucai armorial bottle for the Portuguese market Circa 1720
Sold for £20,000 (US$ 31,071) inc. premium

Lot Details
A fine and rare doucai armorial bottle for the Portuguese market
Circa 1720
Painted in a soft underglaze blue, enamelled in green and iron-red, and gilt on one side of the broad body with the arms of the distinguished Portuguese family Sampaio Mello e Castro within feathery mantling, the back of the vase with a Chinese Imari spray of luxuriant tree peony, silver cover. 18.5cm (7¼in) high

Footnotes

  • 約1720年 外銷鬥彩徽章紋瓶

    This rare bottle comes from one of the most extraordinary early armorial services created in China for a Western commission. There were only two known examples of bottles from this service, both of a design which was never apparently repeated elsewhere in Chinese Export porcelain, and presumably therefore relied on an original being provided by the Viceroy who commissioned it. The other known example of one of these bottles, retaining its original cover, is now in the Fundacao Oriente, Lisbon, illustrated by A.Varela Santos, Portugal in Porcelain from China: 500 Years of Trade, Vol.3, p.831, col.fig.9.

    The extensive range of porcelains with this coat-of-arms was ordered by D.Francisco Jose de Sampaio Mello e Castro, Viceroy of India from 1720-23 (he died in Goa in 1723). The service included not merely the more conventional types of object like dishes in sizes, but also shapes which are exceptionally rare when copied in Chinese porcelain, such as a porcelain knife box and cover, and pair of armorial sugar casters. There are also a number of very large vases decorated in different palettes with the arms of this extremely rich Government official. Other pieces from this unique service are in the permanent collection of the Fundacao Ricardo do Espirito Santo Silva, illustrated in the Catalogue, pp.186,187,188. Apparently there were some eight different ways in which the family arms were presented on porcelain, explaining why a number of examples have survived in major collections. One of the most extraordinary objects is a large armorial wine-glass cooler (Monteith) modelled on a European silver shape and now displayed in the Museu Arte Antiqua, Lisbon; see Nuno de Castro, Chinese Porcelain and the Heraldry of the Empire, col.pl.57 (the wine cooler), p.64 (a lobed shaving bowl), p.62 (a knife box) and elsewhere examples of the dishes from the various different services.

    A remarkable and massive baluster jar from the same series of commissions which dates to circa 1720, was discovered in an English country house and sold in these rooms on 13 June 2002, lot 77. It is now in a Portuguese private collection.
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