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Armorial Cup and Saucer with Gold Outlining and Famille Rose Designs

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Period: Qianlong reign (1736–1795), Qing dynasty (1644–1911)
Dimensions: Cup Dimensions: height: 6.8 cm; mouth diameter: 6.5 cm; foot diameter: 4.4 cm Saucer Dimensions: height: 3.2 cm; mouth diameter: 13.9 cm; foot diameter: 8.4 cm

The cup has an open mouth, a round foot, a handle on one side, and tapered sides. The saucer has an open rim, a round foot, and shallow, rounded sides.

This cup and saucer were used for coffee in the eighteenth century by the Swedish royal family. The cup and saucer have a band of gold around the rim. The interior of the saucer and exterior of the cup feature arms and a famille rose floral design. The underside of both pieces is inscribed in black with 1776. The blue and gold armorial design features a crown bearing a cross above a gold G against a blue ground encircled by laurels, which are inscribed “D: 19 AUG: 1772”.

The arms upon the cup and saucer belong to the Swedish royal family. Indeed, this set was ordered for production in China for Gustav III (1746–1792), King of Sweden in commemoration of the coup d’état he conducted 19 August 1772. Sets of these cups and saucers were gifted to his loyal followers. The G in the center of the crest represents Gustav III. The cross atop the crown displays the Christian faith of the royal household.

The configuration of a crown atop arms was used often by European monarchies in the eighteenth century.

The set was donated to the Palace Museum in 2005 by Volvo Trucks Greater China of the Volvo Group.

Chinese entry by Sun Yue
Translated and edited by Adam J. Ensign and Kang Xiaolu


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