Lovelace Plate

Chinese Export Porcelain – Plate, 9" diameter, circa 1755-60

This plate underscores the importance of recording crests, coats of arms and shields – the way brand trademarks are registered today.

Brand focus isn't exactly a new problem. While the three birds help to identify this crest as possibly of the Lovelace family, other visual cues are questionable. The arms' details and the variance of the crest from a service known to have been made for that family make us wonder whether it's a simple case of variance or a mystery shrouded in time.

The floral sprays on the rim and the spearhead border on the side of the well point to a mid-1700s date; the arms are elaborate enough to confirm that this was an order from a family member. But for whom? Even sophisticated post-modern marketers have experienced similar problems of identity.

Related works:

David Sanctuary Howard, Chinese Armorial Porcelain , Vol. I, Faber and Faber, 1974, 962.