Armorial Masonic Partial Tea and Coffee Service, c. 1760

Export ware made in China for the Dutch market.

This service, consisting of a coffee pot and cover, teapot and cover, tea caddy, spoon tray, saucer dish, coffee cup and two saucers, is elaborately painted with a coat of arms and crest flanked by iron-red foliage, Dutch sailing ships, Masonic working tools (the square and compass is visible at the lower right corner) and scattered floral sprigs.  This service is an important addition to The Masonic Library and Museum of Pennsylvania's growing collection of Masonic Chinese export porcelain.  This collection, consisting of punch bowls, toddy jugs, and mugs, provides a glimpse of China's relationship with the West during the late 18th-early 19th centuries.  If a patron was wealthy, he could have his porcelain designed to suit his individual taste.  Such designs often featured personal coats of arms and the surname of the patron, as well as the symbols of a particular group with whom the patron was affiliated.  This partial tea service is a wonderful example of this type of export porcelain. 

A special "Thank You" to Laura Libert, Curator of the Library and Museum of the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania for submitting the pictures and description of this wonderful Dutch Tea Service. 

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