University Collections of Art and History

Object Record

  • Email This Page
  • Send Feedback
Catalog Number 2008.9.121
Object Name Cup, Coffee
Description This cup displays the arms of an earl. Earls are members of the peerage, and their arms are distinguished by additional elements. These include supporters, which are the antelope and the lion that flank the shield, and a coronet, or crown, that sits above the shield. An earl's coronet is decorated with five "pearls" or balls, and four "strawberry leaves" or fleur-de-lis.

This cup is from a service made for John Percival, second Earl of Egmont, and his wife Catherine Cecil. Percival was important political figure during the reigns of George II and George III. His political career began when he was but twenty, when he entered the Irish Parliament. In 1741 he began what became a long career in the British Parliament, serving first in the Commons, and later, after being made an English peer, in the House of Lords. One of Perceval's great ambitions had been to change his Irish peerage into an English one, which was achieved in 1762 when he was made Baron Lovel and Holland of Enmore.

Perceval served as an advisor to Frederick, Prince of Wales (the eldest son of King George II who died in 1751). He held several offices, including that of joint postmaster-general and first lord of the Admiralty.

Horace Walpole described him as someone whose "heart rather wanted improvement than his head, though when his ambition and lust Parliament were out of the question, he was humane, friendly and as good humored as it is possible for a man who was never known to laugh."
Year Range from 1750
Year Range to 1755
Material Hard Paste Porcelain
Place of Origin Made in Jingdezhen, Possibly 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 2123