QIANLONG DATED 1779 Chinese Export Porcelain

Rare Chinese Export Famille Rose Tea Canister and Cover Dated 1779. The Brightly Enamelled Famille Rose Armorial Canister is Decorated with the Accollee Arms of Bal and Cats Flanked by Male and Female Figures Holding Palms, a Ribbon Below is Inscribed S:BAL 1779. L:CATS.



The canister is in perfect condition. There is a crude repair to the edge of the cover c.23 x 3 mm with some additional fritting filled, a chip to the side of the finial equal to approximately 1/4 of it's area including the tip.
Height : 14.5 cm (5 3/4 inches)
The Collection of Peter H B Frelinghuysen (U.S.A.)
Stock number
For a saucer of this pattern from the Zeeuws Museum, Middelburg Holland see : La Porcelaine Des Compagnies Des Indes A Decor Occidental (Francois et Nicole Hervouet, Yves Bruneau. Flammarion, 1986. ISBN 2-08-010990-1) page 328, plate 14.7 This tea canister is illustrated in Chinese Armorial Porcelain For The Dutch Market (Dr Jochen Kroes, Waanders Publishers,2007.ISBN978-90-400-83310) where the author states that this tea canister is part of a nine piece collection in America (Peter H B Frelinghuysen)



Armorial Porcelain, Arms of Bal and Cats, Dated 1779 :
Apart from the flower sprays and the engrailed and ball point borders, this porcelain has a very attractive picture of two coats of arms accollé in slightly asymmetrical shields in a purple shell-like rocaillerie cartouche, with above a coronet of ten pearls. The dexter shield is parted per fess, A. on a gold background a table with a bird perched on it, B. on a black background a sitting white cat. The sinister arms are: on a bold background a red chevron with three black balls (two-one). The shields are supported by a European couple dressed in 18th-century clothing, at the dexter side a lady dressed in pink holding a green palm in her fright and a leafy branch in her left, at the sinister side a gentleman dressed in blue with a palm in his right and a bird in his left. They are standing on a pink banderole with a gold scroll underneath, the banderole inscribed in black: `S:BAL.1779.L:CATS.` Interestingly the supporters and the names underneath are in reverse compared with the arms accollé and the bird in the Cats arms is repeated in the hand of the gentleman supporter. The dexter arms are those L.(eendert) Cats, the sinister arms were borne by his wife S. (usanna) Bal who either married or celebrated their wedding anniversary in 1779. They lived in Middelburg. The arms of Leendert Cats are not recorded elsewhere. There are several, sometimes quite different, varieties of the Cats arms, but two similar versions are borne by members of the Zeeland Cats family. The first one shows a cat only, the other one is parted per fess with three pales and the cat. It is not known whether Leendert Cats was related to others with the same name (but different arms), such as the famous Jacob Cats (1577-1660) who was Grand Pensionary of the Dutch Republic in the 1630s and 1640s. The Bal arms were borne by members of the Zierikzee family of the same name and were similar to those on the porcelain, although with couped chevron. A version with the three balls only without the chevron was borne by a family of the same name from Bruinisse, not far from Zierikzee. Not much is known about the commissioning couple. Leendert Cats (born c. 1730-1740; died after 1788) was a citizen of Middelburg recorded there between 1763 and 1788, but his profession is unknown. In 1763 he acted as an executor of the estate of Maria Cornelia Roesingh, the widow of Frans Wolf, a ship`s captain voyaging to the West Indies. In 1784 he was mentioned as an executor again, this time of the estate of Andries de Lelij from Middelburg. Leendert was a regular churchgoer and was closely involved with the Middelburg Reformed Church which he served as deacon (1767, 1771, 1775) and as elder in 1780, 1784, and 1788. Leendert might have been related to Frederik Nicolaasz. Cats who was a notary in Middelburg from 1769 to 1808. Like Leendert he was deacon (1787, 1791) and elder (1798) of the Middelburg Reformed Church. Information about Susanna Bal is even more scarce, although it is possible she was related to families of the same name in Bruinisse and Nieuwerkerk. Within the latter line some girls were christened Susanna in the late 17th century. Because Leendert must have been about 40 to 50 years old in 1779 it seems likely he and Susanna were celebrating not their marriage, but their copper or even their silver wedding anniversary.

Chinese Armorial Porcelain For The Dutch Market (Dr Jochen Kroes, Waanders Publishers,2007.ISBN978-90-400-83310) page 443, item 365. The information provided comes from this entry.