Description & Technical information

Qianlong period
Dutch Market
from the Golden Gate Collection

A pair Chinese export armorial porcelain dinner plates with a central group of coats of arms, the rim with a simple gilt shell and scroll border.

This is a large service with many unusual shapes and one of the primary target pieces for any collector of Chinese armorial porcelain. It was probably made for Theodorus van Reverhorst (1706-58) who was in Batavia as a member of the VOC’s Council of Justice or his brother Adriaanus. There are two smaller services with the same arms but different borders. The surrounding coats of arms are for his eight great-grandparents. He was not a shy man: his signature has elaborate curlicues and he was clearly proud of his armigerous ancestors.
The brothers were the sons of Mauritius van Reverhorst (1666-1722) a surgeon and professor of Medicine in The Hague, notable for his theory of bile circulation inspired by Harvey’s work on blood, a theory finally verified, in modified form, in the late 19th century. Several members of the surgeons guild had armorial sservices made in China including Abraham Titsingh.
Theodorus left the Netherlands for Batavia in 1735 on the VOC ship Hogersmilde, the ship that carried the order of the Doctor’s Visit design to the ‘Pronk workshop’. He returned in 1753 on the Naarstigheid, presumably carrying this porcelain with him.

Central arms for van Reverhorst: Quartely, 1 & 4, Azure two keys palewise or, 2 & 3, Argent three lozenges gules 2 and 1; on an inescutcheon or, a cross ancrée gules. Crest: issuing out of a marquis’ coronet a horse’s head proper between two wings azure and or.

Clockwise from top right:
1. Or three crampons sable (Schrevelius)
2. Azure a chevron between two pinecones chevronwise, in base a fleu-de-lys or (van Peene)
3. Or an anchor sable (van Groenendyck)
4. Azure three stars or (de Vroede)
5. Argent on a cross gules five escallops of the first (de Bruyn)
6. Quarterly, 1 & 4, Sable two cocks’ heads or, combed gules; 2 &3, Argent a fess bretessed gules; on an inescutcheon or a lion rampant gules (Vereyck)
7. Argent a bare tree sable crowned with three brids of the same (de Winter)
8. van Reverhorst

References: Howard 1994, p170, a covered bowl; ibid p92, a plate; Lunsingh Scheurleer1974, cats 148, 173, 274, further pieces; Howard & Ayers 1978, p400-1, for a family tree and details; Le Corbeiller 1974, p97, a saucer dish; Kroes 2007, p. 262, 316, No 233 this service and Nos 175-6 slightly earlier services with these arms; a plate in the Rijksmuseum (AK-NM-13384) and another from an earlier service with these arms (AK-NM-13492); Jörg 1989, p258, No 103; van Reverhorst, M (1696) De otu bilis circulari ejusque morbis;

Date:  1740-1750
Period:  1600-1750, 18th century
Origin:  China
Medium: porcelain
Dimensions: 23 cm (9 inches)
Categories: Oriental and Asian Art