University Collections of Art and History

Object Record

  • Email This Page
  • Send Feedback
Catalog Number R2000.2.4a
Object Name Cup, Coffee
Description Coffee cup having a cylindrical body with rounded bottom and simple loop handle, painted in overglaze famille rose enamels with a scallop border at the outer rim and a coat of arms with supporters in the form of winged bulls with the motto "OMNIA SUBIECISTI SUB PEDIBUS, OVES, OVES ET BOVES" opposite the handle.

While most armorial porcelain was made for individuals, some was also made for organizations, such as guilds. Guilds are associations of craftspeople working in a particular trade, and typically licensed craftspeople, set and controlled prices, and provided support and assistance for their membership. Many of the most important guilds in England were formed in London during the Middle Ages. They were also known as livery companies, and all had coats of arms.

This cup is from one of several services decorated with the arms of the Butcher's Company of London. The Worshipful Company of Butchers is one the oldest livery companies in London, dating back to 975 C.E. The Company's arms were granted in 1540.

The porcelain may have been made to use in the Company's Hall, or it may have been made for a member to use in their own home. Interestingly, in place of the motto on the arms are the names "William and Susants Robinson." While there are several Robinsons connected with the Company in the eighteenth century, none bear the name William or Susan. Their connection may have been lost to history, or it may have been a mistake of some sort.
Year Range from 1770
Year Range to 1775
Material Hard-Paste Porcelain
Place of Origin Made in Jingdezhen, Probably Decorated in Guangzhou, China
Collection The Reeves Center
Credit line Museum Purchase
On View Reeves Center, Chinese Armorial Porcelain Gallery
Gallery ID Number 2276