Mots-clefs

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A rare ‘Scotsmen’ plate, circa 1745Estimate $20,000 – $30,000. Photo Christie’s Image Ltd 2015

The two kilted figures shown in the center, one with shotgun and the other playing his bagpipes, the border with four grisaille and gilt landscape vignette panels; 9 in. (23 cm.) diameter

Provenance: Acquired from Philip Suval, New York.

Notes: These figures of kilted Scots are after engravings by George Bickham, the piper from his 1743 frontispiece to A Short History of the Highland Regiment. D.S. Howard writes in A Tale of Three Cities, p. 112, « The engravings had become popular…for they were identified with martyrs of the day – on 18th July 1743, four riflemen of the Regiment were shot in the Tower for mutiny ». A combination of Jacobite feeling and fascination with the elaborate costume of the Highlanders seems to have fueled the fashion for these subjects. A similar plate was sold from the Collection of Benjamin F. Edwards III, Christie’s, New York, 26 January 2010, lot 37.

Christie’s. MANDARIN & MENAGERIE: THE SOWELL COLLECTION AND CHINESE EXPORT ART FROM VARIOUS OWNERS, 26 January 2015, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

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