A pair of Chinese armorial plates for the Dutch market (van Reverhorst). Qianlong

Decorated in blue, green, black, iron-red and gilt with the coat-of arms of van Reverhorst with coronet and crest, surrounded by smaller arms of the families van Reverhorst, de Winter, Vereyck and de Bruyn to the left, and Schrevelius, Peenen, Groenedijk and de Vroede to the right, within a gilt and iron-red shell scroll border.

Period :
Qianlong (1736-1795), circa 1745
9 ¼ in. (22.8 cm.)
Reference :

Related works

For a tea bowl and saucer from this service, see Christie’s NYC, The Benjamin F. Edwards III Collection of Chinese Export, 22 january 2003, lot 155.

For a pair of plates, see Christie’s NYC, The Hodroff Collection Chinese Export Porcelain From The Collection of Leo & Doris Hodroff, 24 january 2007, lot 248.

A basin is published in Made in China: Export Porcelain from the Leo and Doris Hodroff Collection at Winterthur, 2005, no.  30.

This service is also illustrated by Dr. Kroes in Chinese Armorial Porcelain for the Dutch Market, 2007, p. 316, no. 233.

In 1920’s, The Museum De Lakenhal in Leiden obtained a part service of 55 pieces on permanent load. There were early collections of this service as such those of Count Mourin Nahuys in 1890 and C. M. Klatte (presently in the Princessehof Museum in Leeuwarden).


This plate belongs to one of the largest services with the arms of Dutch families, and must have been unusually expensive with exceptional and sometimes even unique shapes. The heraldry on this porcelain is very unusual with an elaborate central armorial surrounded by eight smaller coats, each named below, representing the ancestral arms of the commissioner(s) of this porcelain. This service is the ultimate illustration of a family tree more usually seen on hatchments in churches and it was considered a matter of particular pride to be able to claim eight armigerous great-grandparents. This is the first known porcelain service with ancestral arms and it appears that this type of Chine de Commande was made exclusively for the Dutch market.

The central coat of arms is that of Theodorus and Adriaan van Reverhorst. On the dexter, or left, side are the arms of the maternal great-grandparents and below each shield a banderole with the name of the armigerous families. Theodorus and Adriaan van Reverhorst were the sons of Mauritius van Reverhorst (1662-1722) and Emerentia Schrevelius (1679-1746). The Van Reverhorsts and the allied families of De Winter, Vereijk and De Bruijn were all from The Hague, living there from the early 17th century. The Van Reverhorst became more prominent with mauritius van Reverhorst (1666-1722), a leading physician and professor in The Hague.

It is likely that Adriaan, being a supercargo in Canton (1743-1748), carried out this order presumably placed by his brother Theodorus who lived in Batavia as a respectable member of the Court of Justice in a fashionable house with plenty room to display this exceptional porcelain. Nothing is known about the cost of this service which must have been considerable.

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