University Collections of Art and History

Object Record

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Catalog Number 2008.9.28
Object Name Cup, Coffee
Description This cup is from a tea and coffee service made for Eldred and Isabella Lee of Coton, in Shropshire, England, or for one of his sons.

Like many families that had porcelain decorated with their coat of arms, the Lees were connected with the Honorable East India Company, which had a monopoly on British trade with China. Isabella's uncle, Richard Gough, made several trips to China and India, and her brother, Henry Gough, rose to become a director of the Company. Richard and Henry commissioned five armorial services for themselves, and it is likely that they ordered the service for Isabella and Eldred.

The Lees of Virginia shared a common ancestor with Eldred Lee, and they also used this coat of arms. Among these was Robert E. Lee, who was President of Washington College from 1865 to 1870. The school was renamed Washington and Lee after his death. The University's coat of arms includes elements taken from the Lee arms.

In addition to this hot beverage service, the Lees also owned a armorial porcelain dinner service. For a plate from that service, see 3405.
Year Range from 1725.0
Year Range to 1735.0
Material Hard Paste Porcelain
Place of Origin Made in Jingdezhen, China
Collection The Reeves Center
Collector David Sanctuary Howard Collection of Armorial Porcelain Coffee Cups
On View Reeves Center, Chinese Armorial Gallery