Famille rose and grisaille eggshell soup plate, painted in the centre with a mountainous river-landscape scene with a tall pagoda in the distance and a gated village in the foreground with a figure and his attendant between two horses, another figure crossing a bridge with a fisherman sitting in his boat beside his raised fishing rod, all amongst delicately painted rockwork, trees and houses, beneath a wide gilt floral leafy continuous branch in the cavetto, the flat everted rim with three peony sprays in leaf-shape reserves, besides white and pink chrysanthemum on a pink diaper ground and a gilt diaper band at the rim.
- From the collection of Alfred Beit (1903-1994).
Sir Alfred Lane Beit, 2nd Baronet, was a British Conservative Party politician, art collector and philanthropist and honorary Irish citizen. His uncle was Alfred Beit, a South African mining millionaire, after whom he was named when he was born in London on 19 January 1903. his father otto Beit (1865-1930) was awarded the KCMG
in 1920 and was created a baronet in February 1924. His mother was Lilian, daughter of Thomas Lane Carter of New Orleans, USA. On Sir Otto’s death in 1930, Alfred inherited a large fortune as well as numerous works of art, including works by Goya, Vermeer, Rubens and Gainsborough. Having lived at 49 Belgrave Square, he bought a mansion on Kensington Palace Gardens where these paintings were put on display. By the 1930’s the Beit family had philanthropically supported the Imperial College of science and Technology, the Rhodes Trust and had established the Beit Memorial Fellowship for medical research, besides making many smaller donations to other groups. Beit was made an honorary Irish citizen in 1993, in recognition of his philanthropy, including a 1987 donation of seventeen masterpieces to the national gallery of Ireland. The paintings donated had an estimated value of between IR£50 million and IR£100 million. The gallery described the donation as “among the greatest single gift to any Gallery in the world in that generation”. The Beit Wing of the National Gallery on Merrion Square is named in honour of the Beits, who also served on the Board of Directors of the gallery.
- A related enamelled Yongzheng ruby-back eggshell dish from the Martin Hurst collection is illustrated by Dr. George C. Williamson in The Book of Famille Rose, pl. XXX, no. 3 and another larger landscape dish is illustrated on pl. XLViii, no. 1.