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Selection of Chinese export mother-of-pearl gaming counters and collections, armorial and non-armorial.

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Box and 140 counters for PRESCOTT impaling TULLY (L12)             £ 4950

This is a remarkable box and counters all of which bear the arms and crest for PRESCOTT impaling TULLY. For the matching porcelain service please see CAP II page 545 (D.S.Howard). The lid of the lacquer box shows signs of distress which is far from unusual in a box of this age - circa 1815. The interior is in sparkling condition. The counters and box all bear the arms: sable a chevron between three owls argent; impaling argent on a chevron engrailed sable three escallops of the first, in chief a lion passant gardant vert, The crest is a cubit arm vested gules cuffed ermine holding in the hand a pitch pot fired proper. David Howard  states that the srvice ( and counters) were probably for  the family of Sir George Prescott, Baronet of Theobald's Park. It was very often the case that sets of Chinese mother-of-pearl counters were ordered at the same time as armorial porcelain services. What makes this set remarkable is that there are 140 armorial counters with the box - albeit in a strange combination of shapes. 140 normally represents a complete set of gaming counters and it is extremely rare for a set to have survived intact in the shapes 80 long, 40 round and 20 'square' or oval. This set comprises 81 long, 40 round and 19 oval. Whether this was the result of a counting mistake from Canton is a mystery. Perhaps more likely is the case that these sets originally contained one or two extras for when a counter was lost or damaged - a very common occurence as I have only ever handled four or five full sets of 140 armorial counters. At some stage the missing oval has been replaced with a counter of identical shape and size with a blank roundel so there are in fact 141 counters with this box, 140 of which are armorial. I also have a dinner plate from the armorial service available.

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