COFFEE CUP WITH TWO MEN FIGHTING IN A GARDEN

Reference #: CEPES101

circa 1785

Height 2 ½ in. (6.4 cm)

PROVENANCE:
The collection of the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, Williamsburg Virginia, sold, Sotheby’s, New York, January 24, 1990, lot 358

painted within a gilt oval panel with a scene depicting the assassination of Sir George Brander, the victims lying in a glade below his nephew Thomas, whose knife drops from his flailing hands, the rim bordered with a purple meandering ribbon entwined with a floral garland, and ridged loop handle with a gilt scroll device.

The sugar bowl from this service is illustrated by Hervouet and Bruneau, p. 204, no. 9.37, who indicate that “ scene commemorates the assassination of Sir George Brander, who, during the second half of the 18th century worked in Canton for the Honourable East
India Company, established excellent relations with the Oriental merchants. Upon his retirement, Sir George sent as his replacement on the post his nephew and heir, Thomas, whose behavior in China was disastrous. When Thomas returned to England in 1782, he compromised himself further with gambling debts, and when he begged for assistance from his benefactor, it was refused, and Sir George threatened him with disinheritance. A disinheritance. A dispute ensued in the spring of 1783, and at its most heated moment, Thomas stabbed his uncle.

A scalloped oval dish with his decoration was sold at Christies in New York on January 25, 2000, lot 167.

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