According to the letter that accompanies this armorial tureen, this 18th century Chinese export porcelain vessel was was thought to have been made for the Viceroy of New Spain. The curator of the Peabody museum wasn’t far off the mark. He understood that the tureen belonged to Don Matias de Galvez, who was in fact, the Viceroy of New Spain, following his tenure as captain General of Guatemala. The armorial crest however belongs to his uncle, José de Gálvez y Gallardo, marqués de Sonora, who was appointed the Visitor General to New Spain in 1765, a special deputy to the King of Spain who wielded more power than any figure in North America, including the governing viceroy. Jose de Galvez was enormously influential in Spain’s expansion into California and credited for organizing and directing the Portola expedition which founded Mission San Diego de Alcala, the Royal Presido of San Diego and for discovering San Francisco Bay. He was also instrumental in the Bourbon reforms and the reputed author of the economic and political legislation that would follow.
The Galvez family legacy of over-achievement did not end with Don Matias de Galvez nor his uncle, José de Gálvez. Jose's aspiring brother, Bernardo de Galvez, served as the colonial governor of Spanish Louisiana and Cuba before he too became the Viceroy of New Spain.
A plate bearing an identical armorial crest is held in the collection of the Museo Franz Mayer in Mexico City and is illustrated in "Chinese Ceramics in Colonial Mexico", published by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
Dimensions: 12.5 inches x 6 inches x 6.5 inches.
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