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A rare Chinese export porcelain famille rose ‘Danish East-India Trading Company’ saucer


Circa 1720-1730

Decorated in various overglaze enamels with a roundel enclosing a mirror- monogram of the ‘D.O.C.’, Danske Ostindke Company, within a rocaille mantling and below a floral wreath, the rim with a border of continuous vines and flowers.

Diam. 11.6 cm

The mirror monogram on this saucer is historically highly interesting. Identical monograms can be found on Danish coins (Kronet) from 1699-1730, made during the reign of the Danish/Norwegian King Frederick IV (1671-1730).
The Danske Ostindke Company or Danish East India Company refers to two separate Danish-Norwegian chartered companies. The first Company operated between 1616 and 1650. The second Company existed between 1670 and 1729; however, in 1730 it was re-founded as the Asiatic Company. In 1618 it took the Admiral Gjedde two years to reach Ceylon, where he briefly occupied the colossal Konesawaram Temple before being expelled by the Portuguese. After that, the Danes settled in Tranquebar, where they obtained permission to trade with the Tangore Kingdom, established Dansborg and installed the first Opperhoved Captain Crappe. Between 1624 and 1636, trade extended to Indonesia as well, but subsequent wars in Europe ruined the Company.
In 1670, a second Danish East India Company was established and trade between Denmark, Norway and Tranquebar resumed. Several new outposts were established, governed from Tranquebar: Oddeway Torre on the Malabar Coast in 1696, and Denmarksnagore at Gondalpara, southeast of Chanderagore in 1698. The settlement with the Nayak was confirmed, and Tranquebar was permitted to expand to include three neighbouring villages. Denmark sent missionaries to India, which was vehemently opposed by the local rulers. Their pressure, economic and in battle caused trade to stagnate. Above all, the Norwegian King forced the DOC to loan him money which he failed to repay, forcing the Company into liquidation and bankruptcy.

The DOC never got near as large as the Dutch VOC, due to poor economic choices and the strong urge to spread

Christianity above a healthy trade-relationship with local authorities.