University Collections of Art and History

Object Record

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Catalog Number 2008.9.508
Object Name Cup, Coffee
Description This cup is decorated with the arms of the Shipwright's Company, one of the ancient livery companies, or guilds, of London. The Shipwright's Company acted as a trade organization, supporting its members and lobbying on their behalf. Shipbuilding was a major industry in the eighteenth century, and London was one of the main centers of shipbuilding for Britain.

Though it traces its history back to 1387, the livery was the shipwright's was not granted until 1782, partly because shipyards, due to their demand for space and the danger of fire, were not located in the confines of the ancient city of London. The arms were granted in 1605, and contain obvious references to the industry; a the hull of a ship, supporters in the form of shipwrights holding an axe and caulking hammer, a crest of Noah's Ark, and the motto, "Within the Ark, Safe For Ever."

The service was one of five made with the Company's arms, possibly for use in their guild hall, but more likely for private use by one of their members.
Year Range from 1793
Year Range to 1797
Material Hard Paste Porcelain
Place of Origin Made in Jingdezhen, Decorated in Guangzhou (Canton), China
Collection The Reeves Center
Credit line Gift of H.F. Lenfest and Beverly M. DuBose III
On View Reeves Center, Chinese Armorial Gallery
Gallery ID Number 2489