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Enquiry from Online Galleries regarding "PAIR OF CHINESE EXPORT PORCELAIN ARMORIAL MEATDISHES"
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Look at what I found on the Online Galleries website!
Length: 16½ inches; 42cm
A pair of large Chinese export armorial meatdishes with unidentified continental arms containing a squirrel device on a chequered floor, the borders with finely painted floral sprays.
Blazon: chequy on a chief azure a squirrel sejant gules
Crest: a squirrel sejant gules
The fine enamelling of the flowers in the borders suggests a fairly early date for these. The arms are unknown but the style of the mantling and the shield suggests a Dutch or Scandinavian family. It is most likely taken from a bookplate. The squirrel with its arms up like this is supposed to be cracking nuts, missing here, and appears thus in the arms of the Hervey family, as used in 1636, by William and Thomas Hervey of Dorchester, Massachusetts.
The crest of a squirrel is used by the Sichterman family, with a well-known Chinese armorial service ordered in the eighteenth century, but their coat of arms has a squirrel on a gold ground. The French family of Nicholas Fouquet, Finance Minister for Louis XIV has a standing squirrel on his coat of arms.
The division of the blazon in half is similar in style to some Portuguese armorials and these dishes are known to have been in a Portuguese collection but they remain unidentified.
Reference: Huitfeldt 1993, p143, large pierced basket from this service, arms unidentified but she suggests they may be English.