Brabands Vryheyd.jpg

A rare pair of Dutch decorated Chinese porcelain ’Brabands Vryheid’ cup- and-saucers


Late 18th century

Diam. 13.5 cm (saucer) / diam. 8.7 cm (cup)

Chinese white porcelain with underglaze blue flower decoration. Polychrome overpainted in the Northern or Southern Netherlands, showing the Maid of Liberty holding a banner and a rather friendly-looking lion, Brabant’s heraldic figure.

This image and the inscription ‘BRABANDS VRYHEID’ and ‘BRABANDS V HEYD’ refer to the insurrection in the Southern Netherlands (present-day Belgium) in the years 1787-1790 which let to the temporary overthrow of the Habsburg rule there. The crowned coat of arms is that of Arendonk, a place in Belgium Brabant where the insurrection had its first success. The cross on top of the coat of arms refers probably to the conservative-clerical party of the ‘Statisten’, one of the fractions of the ‘patriots’ fighting the Habsburg rule.

(see also: collection of the Noordbrabants Museum, inv. nr. 11579.1)