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Chinese Export En Grisaille European-subject Plate, 
Portrait of John Cecil, Lord Burghley, PETRUS DE WOLFF PETRFIL inscription.

Chinese Export En Grisaille European-subject Porcelain Plate,

Burley House Portrait of John Cecil, Lord Burghley,


Circa 1740.

The extremely rare porcelain plate is painted in the central well "en grisaille" with a picture of young man with a rifle in his left hand standing in a wooded area with a house in the background.  To his left a dog is looking up at him.

On the inner border to the well are blue enamel floral scrolls alternating with floral scrolls in red and gold cartouches.  At the bottom is a panel with an inscription 'PETRUS DE WOLFF PETRFIL'. The outer border with four flower petals and a border with floral scrolls. Slight rubbing to the two FF's.

Dimensions:  9 inch diameter.

Winterthur Museum has an example, a gift from Leo Hodroff, and the origin of the design is described thus:

The design source for the portrait on this hand-painted plate must have been a print after William Wissing's 1686 portrait of John Cecil, Lord Burghley (1674-1721). William Wissing (b. 1656) was born in Amsterdam and immigrated to England in 1676, eventually to become an assistant of the famous Sir Peter Lely (d. 1680).


(National Portrait Gallery)

One engraving after the painting was created by Amsterdam's Pieter Schenck (1660-1718/19) and was titled "Petrus de Wolfe." The portrait of Burghley also was engraved in England in 1686 by John Smith (1652-1743) (http://bit.ly/2CDkOFA)


An example is in the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam (Ref # AK-NM-13511)


(Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam)

An example is also in the Peabody Museum of Art, (Museum No. E82915)  where the description reads:

"This porcelain plate depicts Lord Burghley as a boy elegantly attired, standing in a wooded landscape with pavilion in background, leaning on a gun with left hand and right hand on hip, dog at his side. Inscription in cavetto, bottom center reads "Petrus de wolff petr fil." Cavetto and rim decorated with foliate scrolls in blue enamel with panels of stylized sprigs in gilding and rouge de fer, the rim with trailing floral sprays within a narrow border. This portrait is taken from an engraving by Pieter Schenck (1660-1718) illustrated in Hollstein's Dutch and Flemish Etchings, Engravings and Woodcuts, 1450-1700, vo. XXV, no. 978. It is adapted from a mezzotint by John Smith of a portrait by William Wissing: no. 978 entitled Petrus de Wolff, Petr. fil, from one of John Cecil, Lord Burghley, later 6th Marquess of Exeter, painted in 1686. Qianlong period".

Supplement to Chinese ceramics in the collection of the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam:  the Ming and Qing dynasties, Page 74, cat.nr. 942

Chinese Export Porcelain, Chine de Commande, D.F. Lunsingh Scheurleer, p. 252 & 253.

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