Origin: China, Jingdezhen
Museum Purchase, The Friends of Colonial Williamsburg Collections Fund
Acc. No. 2008-5,1
Chinese porcelain soup plate with wavy edge decorated in underglaze blue with a pair of peafowl beside a tree in a fenced garden all within a spearhead border at the cavetto. The rim decorated with a flower, foliate and cell pattern border.
Label:Used at Blandfield Plantation on the Rappahannock River in Essex County, Virginia, this soup plate, which descended in the Beverley family, was part of the large dinner service Robert Beverley ordered in 1764. He wrote his London factor, John Bland, requesting “a complete set of China,” including “two larger tureens and two very small ditto, breakfast plates, teacups, coffee cups and all the necessary appendages for a handsome tea table” and relying on Bland to “be kind enough to chose [sic] the China of the most fashionable sort.” However, an agent’s taste was not always satisfactory. In 1771, Virginia lawyer Peter Lyons ordered china from John Norton and Company in England, saying, “I know they [London retailers] think, anything good enough for Virginia, but they should be informed better, and be made to know that the people of Virginia have a good taste and know when they are imposed upon, as well if not better than most of the Gentry or Quality in England, and that when they send to London it is to get the best of Goods in their kind not so much regarding price as quality, and that it injures the Merchant as well as the Tradesman when he sends Goods that are indifferent or bad.”
Provenance:Originally owned by William Beverley of Blandfield Plantation, Essex County, Virginia. Descended through the family and in 2008 ownership was transferred from Rebecca B. Kanis of Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina to Colonial Williamsburg.