A PAIR OF VERY LARGE CHINESE ARMORIAL EXPORT BLUE AND WHITE PORCELAIN 'PELGROM' CHARGERS
Kangxi period, circa 1710
The two chargers, decorated in the centre in typical Chinese style, one with a bird on a rock, the other with a flying insect, and both with flowering plants. The rim, decorated with large lotus flowers and scrollwork, bears the coat of arms of the Pelgrom family on top, on the reverse three large flower sprays and in the middle within a double circle a conch shell.
Diam. 49.7 cm each
These two huge dishes once belonged to a dinner service which was ordered by Jacob Pelgrom (c. 1655 Rouen – 1713 Batavia). As a Huguenot he had fled France after the freedom of the protestant religion was revoked by Louis XIV in 1685.
Pelgrom arrived in Batavia in 1688 onboard the “Langwijk” of the Amsterdam VOC Chamber. His career in the VOC was mainly in Bengal where he became the first director of the Bengal trading post in Cassimbazar in 1701. From 1708 till his death in 1713 he lived in Batavia where he had several official functions including head of the tax department.
Still in Amsterdam Jacob had married Catharina Pigou (1656-1709), also a Huguenot refugee from France, Amiens. They had at least four children. Their youngest daughter, Johanna Catharina (1686-1734) married Anthonij Huysmans (1688-1729) who succeeded his father-law as director of Bengal. The Huysmans-Pelgrom family became related to several of the principal families of the Dutch East Indies.