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Swellengrebel borden copy.jpg


Canton, circa 1750

Porcelain with underglaze blue and heightened with gold, in the centre of the plates, have been painted in grisaille and gold, inside an oval shield a gold fleur-de-lis under a coronet with above two gold stags’ horns.

Diam. 23.5 cm


H.A.M. Swellengrebel (born 1942) the governor’s great-great-great-great- grandson


The fleur-de-lis arms belong to the Swellengrebel family. The Swellengrebel family originated from Nordhausen in Germany where they were first recorded in the 14th century. In 1643 Heinrich Swellengrebel became a Dutch merchant in Moscow. Several of his descendants joined the VOC, in particular in the Cape colony, but also in other Dutch-Asiatic trading posts including Canton. These plates are part of a large dinner service ordered by Hendrik Swellengrebel (Cape of Good Hope 1700-Utrecht 1760). Hendrik, son of Johannes Swellengrebel (Moscow 1671-Cape 1744) and Johanna Cruse (1682-1715) became Governor-General of the Dutch Cape in 1739 till 1750 when he left for Holland. The dinner service he had ordered arrived at the Cape shortly after he had left and was sent after him to Holland.

Hendriks mother Johanna Cruse was the sister of Wilhelm Maurits Cruse (Cape of Good Hope 1671 - Batavia 1734) whose commemorative salver is illustrated and described in our catalogue “Uit Verre Streken”, March 2013.


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