Plate thumbnail 1
Not currently on display at the V&A

Plate

ca. 1745 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

Designs to commemorate European political events were sent to China in the 18th century. A poignant memory of the Jacobite Rising of 1745 in Scotland is evoked by plates and punchbowls decorated with soldiers in strangely depicted kilts, copied from prints or engravings of 1743 by George Bickham. The prints refer to the first mutiny of the Highland regiment on 18th July 1743 as the regiment sought to restore the descendants of the House of Stuart. During the mutiny a piper named Macdonnel (or Macdonald), perhaps the piper depicted, was sent to Georgia as a convict. Surviving pieces, such as this plate, show few signs of use because, although they must have been ordered before 1745, they arrived back after the Rising when rebellion had been totally crushed. A Chinese border surrounds the Scottish theme.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Porcelain painted in enamel colours and gilded
Brief Description
Porcelain plate of two Scottish soldiers; China, decorated in Canton, Qing dynasty, about 1745
Physical Description
White plate, with polychrome decoration with depiction of two Scottish soldiers in centre. Both the soldiers wear kilts, one is piping, the other has rifle. Lip of plate is decorated in sepia with two panels containing landscape scenes and two scenes of polychrome birds on branches.

Almost certainly they appear to be based on George Bickham's engravings of the mutineers which were produced in 1743, the year in which the first mutiny to involve a Highland regiment occurred. I am aware that depictions of Highland soldiers from this period, particularly individual soldiers are rare.
Dimensions
  • Diameter: 23cm
Style
Credit line
Basil Ionides bequest
Summary
Designs to commemorate European political events were sent to China in the 18th century. A poignant memory of the Jacobite Rising of 1745 in Scotland is evoked by plates and punchbowls decorated with soldiers in strangely depicted kilts, copied from prints or engravings of 1743 by George Bickham. The prints refer to the first mutiny of the Highland regiment on 18th July 1743 as the regiment sought to restore the descendants of the House of Stuart. During the mutiny a piper named Macdonnel (or Macdonald), perhaps the piper depicted, was sent to Georgia as a convict. Surviving pieces, such as this plate, show few signs of use because, although they must have been ordered before 1745, they arrived back after the Rising when rebellion had been totally crushed. A Chinese border surrounds the Scottish theme.
Bibliographic References
  • Jackson, Anna & Jaffer, Amin (eds.) Encounters : the meeting of Asia and Europe 1500-1800, London, V&A, 2004p.229
  • Lup.150
Collection
Accession Number
C.29-1951

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record createdMay 19, 2000
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