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Basket and stand

  • Place of origin:

    Jingdezhen (made)
    Guangzhou (painted)

  • Date:

    ca. 1800 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Porcelain with perforation, painted in overglaze enamels and gilded

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Ceramics, Room 137, The Curtain Foundation Gallery, case 13, shelf 1 []

This fruit basket and two dishes are part of a large dining service decorated with the arms of the Honourable East India Company (HEIC) together with its motto 'Auspicio Regis et Senatus Angliae' [ 'By right of the king and the senate of England'] depicted within a scroll. Established in 1600 the first English East India Company was named ' The Governor and Company of Merchants of London trading into the East Indies,' until it was merged with another company in 1698. Upon the merger the name was changed to the Honourable East India Company and in 1709 a new coat of arms was adopted. By 1711 a new trading post was established in Canton.

The shape of the basket is European in origin and probably modelled on pierced work pieces made in Meissen or Berlin. The feather-leaf handles with vine leaf terminals are reminiscent of the headdresses worn by oriental and South American princes that were popularly depicted in costume and travel prints during the 17th century. Baskets, such as this, were a significant part of the dessert service and were always accompanied by a dish used for holding fruit such as strawberries. During the 18th century it had become increasingly fashionable to eat fruit with cream. The open-work design, linlong in Chinese, was produced by using a sharp shaped knife, widely used on export porcelain during 1780 and 1825. This particular service was probably commissioned by an officer within the Honourable East India Company to celebrate its centenary. The pieces came from Fort St George in Madras, one of the most important trading centres in Asia.

Physical description

Basket and stand, of porcelain, oval, painted in overglaze enamels and gilding; round the edges are borders of leaf ornament, and the basket has two plume-shaped handles. The basket and stand are perforated, and each has in the middle the arms of the Honourable East India Company and its motto on a scroll: 'Auspicio Regis et Senatus Angllæ'. Part of a dinner service from Fort St. George, Madras.

Place of Origin

Jingdezhen (made)
Guangzhou (painted)


ca. 1800 (made)


Unknown (maker)

Materials and Techniques

Porcelain with perforation, painted in overglaze enamels and gilded

Marks and inscriptions

'Auspicio Regis et Senatus Angllæ' painted on a scroll

Object history note

Bought, £13 10s. (335 to J-1898)

Descriptive line

Armorial porcelain. Basket and stand, porcelain painted in overglaze enamels and gilding with the arms and motto of the Hornourable East India Company, painted in Canton, China, Qing dynasty, ca. 1800

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Kerr, Rose and Luisa E. Mengoni Chinese Export Ceramics London: V&A Publishing, 2011, pp. 9-10, pl. 1

Labels and date

About 1800
Porcelain decorated in overglaze enamels and gilding
Jingdezhen; possibly decorated in Canton (Guangzhou)
Museum no. 335E&F-1898
清中期 東印度公司紋章紋果藍及盤子 [23/02/2016]

Production Note

Attribution date from inventory record




Painted; Gilt; Perforated

Subjects depicted

The arms of the East India Company


Ceramics; Porcelain


East Asia Collection

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