Another mystery crest deciphered.
The second mystery crest I saw recently at the Miami Beach Antiques Show was on every piece of this lovely eighteenth century porcelain breakfast set.
Without a motto, this was a slightly tougher challenge than the crest on the antique silver tureen covers I examined previously. Looking at the image, my instinct was that the principal feature on the porcelain was some sort of hawk holding what looked like a snake. You might agree:
However, Crestfinder drew a blank using these search terms. There were loads of hawks (248 to be precise) but none with a snake like this. The closest fit was a hawk holding a wheatsheaf:
As you can see, this crest relates to five families. But I was not happy – maybe I was being too hawkish (boo!). So turning to doves, I searched again. This time, I found a better fit: a dove (with less hairy legs than the hawk) holding a snake for the Elphinston family of Scotland:
One interesting reminder of this search is that the porcelain set was probably decorated in the Far East with the artist working, not from our nice neat source Fairbairns, but from his client’s description. Hence, a variation in the exact depiction of the crest, although the elements and their arrangement are correct. I think this is our answer, so once again Crestfinder has resurrected the hidden history of a work of art.