Rococo Chinese Export St. James Armorial Tankard For Sale
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Rococo Chinese Export St. James Armorial Tankard


This hand-painted famille-rose and gold porcelain tankard has a Western armorial shield with three scallop shells of Saint-James around a white chevron on a blue field beneath a stag. The shield is mounted on and held erect by an elaborate gold Rococo support and is surrounded by a landscape vignette with trees, bushes and flowers. The rim is decorated with a beige rim over a band of inverted fleurs-de-lis. There is a spring of flowers between the handle and the armorial on each side of the tankard. The ear-shaped handle is plain, with small areas of glaze flaking from two hundred-fifty years of use, and some of the rim decoration is lightly faded where it came into contact with lips. The scallop shell is the symbol of St. James, a disciple and cousin of Jesus, who was a fisherman and who took the scallop shell as the symbol of his spiritual and physical journey through life, which ended in Spain. The person who acquired this armorial for himself and his descendants probably took the scallop shell device because of his own pilgrimage to Campostela in the footsteps of St. James. It is not his family name, which is not identified - it is the original owner's personal device. The scallop shell reminds the viewer to focus on the life of St. James, his hard times, his battle with anger and disdain, his self-improvement and his ultimate reaching of redemption and sainthood by following the teachings of Jesus. This is why I attribute the armorial to someone who made the famous pilgrimage. Everyone of his day would have known the reference and its meaning. The chevron is the sign of protection or of a great accomplishment like a long and arduous journey. Please contact me directly by clicking the "Contact Dealer" button for further information, elaboration or comments. I will be happy to chat with you. Thank you for visiting my 1stdibs storefront.


  • Production time
    Available Now
  • Of the Period
  • Place of origin
  • Date of manufacture
    circa 1740
  • Period
  • Materials and techniques
  • Condition
  • Condition Details
    Slightly-rough edges of glaze on handle only. Slight fading on the rim band from contact with lips. Both issues are common for its age and former use.
  • Wear
    Wear consistent with age and use. Minor fading.
  • Dimensions

    H 4.75 in. x Dm 3.75 in.

    H 12.07 cm x Dm 9.53 cm

  • Diameter
    3.75 in. (9.53 cm)
  • Seller location
    Quechee, VT
  • Seller reference number
  • Reference number

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About the Seller

5 / 5
1stdibs seller since 2012
Located in Quechee, VT
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