University Collections of Art and History

Object Record

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Catalog Number 2008.9.332
Object Name Cup, Coffee
Description The crest of Sir Edward Hughes (c.1720-1794), an admiral in the British navy, decorates this cup. It is surrounded by the chain and badge of the Order of the Bath, one of the three main Orders of Chivalry.

Hughes entered the Royal Navy in 1735. He spent most of his early career in the Caribbean, serving under Admiral Vernon during the capture of Porto Bello in 1739. He rose through the ranks to become captain in 1748. He became commander-in-chief in the East Indies in 1773 a position he held until 1783. While serving in Southeast Asia he saw action against Indian pirates and the French, who were attempting to strengthen their position in India. He was a brave, competent, and well respected leader; one of his supporters proclaimed that he "will never study how to find fault with his orders but always how he may best execute them for Majestie's service."

For his service, Hughes was made admiral of the blue, a senior rank in the Royal Navy, in 1793. He had been made a Knight of the Bath in 1778 (being installed by proxy as he was on station in India at the time). He made a fortune in prize money, and when he returned to England in 1785 he acquired several estates. He was married to Ruth Ball. They had no children.

In addition to this tea and coffee service, he also had a Chinese armorial porcelain service decorated with his full coat of arms, as well as an armorial porcelain dessert service made at the Worcester factory in England.
Year Range from 1778
Year Range to 1782
Material Hard Paste Porcelain
Place of Origin Made in Jingdezhen, Decorated in Guangzhou (Canton), China
Collection The Reeves Center
Collector David Sanctuary Howard Collection of Armorial Porcelain Coffee Cups
On View Reeves Center, Chinese Armorial Gallery