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  • Place of origin:

    London (made)

  • Date:

    1812-1813 (hallmarked)

  • Artist/Maker:

    James Aldridge, born 1768 (maker)
    Franchi, Gregorio, born 1770 - died 1828 (designer)
    Beckford, William, born 1744 - died 1799 (designer)
    Beckford, William, born 1744 - died 1799 (patron)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Silver gilt, raised and engraved

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    British Galleries, Room 120, The Wolfson Galleries, case 22

Object Type
The design of this bowl is based either on Chinese enamelled porcelain of the Ch'ien-Lung period (1736-1795) or a metal example in both the shape and the decoration of engraved lotus motif on the bowl's exterior. The collector who owned the bowl, William Beckford (1760-1844), was fascinated by the East and had a large collection of Japanese lacquer and Chinese porcelain. He owned other pieces of metalwork made in imitation of porcelain or lacquer.

This bowl was probably designed by Gregorio Franchi (1770-1828), Beckford's Portuguese companion and agent. Beckford commissioned the London silversmith and jeweller, James Aldridge (born 1768) to make the piece. A design book attributed to James Aldridge is in the Department of Prints, Drawings and Paintings at the V&A.

Ownership & Design
As a reflection of William Beckford's obsession with his lineage, heraldic elements formed an important part of the decoration of many pieces in his collection. There are six Hamilton cinquefoils enclosing a Latimer cross fleury engraved on the interior of this dish. Beckford's mother was a Hamilton and in 1810, his daughter, Susan Euphemia, married Alexander, Marquis of Douglas, later to become the 10th Duke of Hamilton. William Beckford also claimed descent from William, 1st Lord Latimer.

Physical description

The design, based on a Chinese porcelain bowl of the Ch'ien-Lung period. Hemispherical, with shaped everted rim, the outside of the body engraved with scrolling foliage enclosing flowers. Above the circular, moulded foot ring, which is itself engraved with a series of longitudinal motifs of indented, rectangular shape, a calyx of engraved lotus ornament. The inside of the bowl engraved with panel lines and with six cinquefoils (a Hamilton device) enclosing crosses patee (a Latimer device).

Place of Origin

London (made)


1812-1813 (hallmarked)


James Aldridge, born 1768 (maker)
Franchi, Gregorio, born 1770 - died 1828 (designer)
Beckford, William, born 1744 - died 1799 (designer)
Beckford, William, born 1744 - died 1799 (patron)

Materials and Techniques

Silver gilt, raised and engraved

Marks and inscriptions

Engraved with the heraldic Hamilton cinquefoil and the Latimer cross fleury
William Beckford claimed descent from both families.


Height: 6.2 cm, Width: 15.2 cm

Object history note

Probably designed by William Beckford (1760-1844) and Gregorio Franchi (1770-1828); made in London by James Aldridge (born in 1768).

William Beckford claimed descent from both the Hamilton and Latimer families. The same devices as on this bowl, (six cinquefoils and the cross fleury) were used on the ceiling of the Edward III gallery at Fonthill Abbey and also appear on some of the Beckford silver in the Broderick Castle collection of the Duke of Hamilton. The lotus calyx engraved on the outside of the bowl also appears on a teapot by Pauil Storr of 1812, another Beckford piece and one of a group of Beckford pieces acquired from the Duke of Hamilton in 1977 by the national Museums of Scotland.

Descriptive line

Bowl, silver gilt, London hallmarks for 1812-13, mark of James Aldridge, designed by Gregorio Franchi and William Beckford for William Beckford.

Labels and date

British Galleries:
Beckford had a number of pieces of metalwork that imitated either the shapes or the ornament of Chinese porcelain and carved lacquer. This bowl is based on a porcelain prototype of the Ch'ien-Lung reign period (1736-1795). [27/03/2003]


Silver; Gold


Raising; Engraving; Gilding

Subjects depicted

Cinquefoil; Lotus; Scrolling foliage; Calyx; Flowers



Production Type



Metalwork Collection

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