Wednesday 27 November 2013

Heraldic Porcelain lecture at the Oxford University Heraldry Society

Heraldic porcelain is a subject that receives far too little attention from heraldry enthusiasts. Members of the Oxford University Heraldry Society were recently treated to a fascinating lecture on the subject by Mr. Hugh Macpherson, Executive Director of the Heraldic Porcelain Company, a London-based company that produces bespoke heraldic porcelain and related items from its Portuguese factory using the finest Limoges porcelain.

Mr. Macpherson spoke with great knowledge and enthusiasm about the history of different types of porcelain and the evolution of heraldic porcelain. His well-illustrated lecture revealed the huge variety of styles and products that have been produced over the centuries. Many were of outstanding quality, produced by craftsmen every bit the equal of the more famous sculptors or furniture makers.

Mr. Macpherson speckled his talk with many amusing anecdotes (who knew heraldic porcelain could be so entertaining!). Most amusing, perhaps, were the tales of Chinese factories producing flawed pieces due to poor communication and problems with English-Chinese translation. English customers would often send a black and white armorial bookplate to a Chinese factory annotated with instructions regarding the colours for the various components of the heraldic achievement. When the customer would take delivery of the final, expensive, product he would sometimes be horrified to discover that the Chinese factory had directly transcribed the written instructions onto the plates themselves!

More information on heraldic porcelain may be found on the website of the Heraldic Porcelain Company.

1 comment:

Ton said...

you might be interested in this book:

Chinese armorial porcelain for the Dutch market by Dr. Jochem Kroes

waanders publishers , Zwolle 2007
ISBN 978 90 400 83310

book 718 pages illustrated in colour