University Collections of Art and History

Object Record

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Catalog Number 2008.9.361
Object Name Cup, Coffee
Description The arms painted on this cup are an example of the lengths that some upwardly mobile individuals went to in order to link themselves to a more illustrious heritage. The cup is from a service made for a member of the Blunt family of Kent, and is decorated with the Blunt's crest of a sun in splendor. However, the shield is that of the ancient Blount family.

The mistake was in fact intentional; when John Blunt of Rochester was made a baronet in 1720, he claimed to be descended from the Blounts and used their arms and the spelling of their name. In 1732 he was called before the Court of Chivalry and fined for misleading the public about his heritage. Though his children reverted to the proper spelling of the name, some still attempted to claim the more illustrious heritage.

This service was probably made for one of these descendants, possibly for Sir Charles Blunt, 4th baronet, who was in the British East India Company.
Year Range from 1783
Year Range to 1787
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