Collections › MESDA Collection › Order of Cincinnati Plate

Order of Cincinnati Plate

Place Made:
Jingdezhen and Guangzhou China
Date Made:
1785
Medium:
porcelain
Dimensions:
DIA: 9 5/8″; HOA: 1″
Accession Number:
5663
Description:
Chinese export porcelain plate with scalloped rim, and underglaze blue floral and honeycomb-like border. The central image is of Fame personified as a winged female blowing a trumpet. In her hand she holds the badge of the Society of the Cincinnati – a bald eagle with a shield on its chest. The shield shows Cincinnatus giving his sword back to representatives of the Roman Senate.

This plate bearing the badge of The Society of the Cincinatti was commissioned by Samuel Shaw, an officer and hero of the American Revolution. Shaw travelled to China in 1785, the first merchant to do so, where he commissioned this service. Washington’s service originally consisted of a dinner service, breakfast service, and tea service, and numbered 302 peices.

History:
Following Washington’s death in 1799 the dinner service passed to his step-grandson George Washington Park Custis and to Washington’s daughter, Mary Ann Randolph Custis, who married Robert E. Lee. Members of the Thompson family, descendants of Robert E. Lee, gave eight plates from the service to Washington and Lee University.
Credit Line:
Loan courtesy of the Reeves Collection, Washington and Lee University, Gift of Euchlin and Louise Herreshoff Reeves.