A CHINESE FAMILLE VERTE PORCELAIN ARMORIAL 'HESSELINK' DISH
Qianlong period, dated 1747 and with rare merchant's mark
Decorated with a coat-of-arms in green, black, blue and iron-red enamels, surrounded by a gilt border.
Diam. 21.9 cm
This plate is part of a service of which only four plates are known. It is decorated with a special variety of spearhead border in gilt and rouge de fer surrounding a large heraldic image of the Hesselink family in the center with to the left the rare merchant's mark (Dutch: huismerk).
The first to bear this coat-of-arms, with the initials HH, in 1739, was Hendrik Hesselink (Varsseveld 1723 - Doetinchem 1780) as leenman, feudal tenant, of the Deventer deanery. AH most likely is Hendriks older brother Adolph. Both being sons of Harmen Hesselink (c. 1682-1765), a schoolmaster in Varsseveld, and Megteld Vandenbosch (1693-?). Adolph (Varsseveld c. 1716 - Vorden 1762) was judge and steward in Vorden. He married in 1746 Roelofsken Abbink (1718-1773), whom gave him ten children. Adolph must have ordered the service just a year after his marriage and ordered a tea-service, dated 1748, a year later. The tea-service, comprising 32 pieces, is still in a private collection. Huismerken or merchant's marks, were used in armorials in the northern and eastern parts of the Netherlands. These marks consist of geometrical lines, often a variety of the digit four and initials and were originally used as a personal mark or signature.
(See: Dr. Jochem Kroes, Chinese Armorial Porcelain for the Dutch Market, Den Haag/Zwolle, 2007)