Copeland porcelain antique rectangular plaque by Besche

By Besche (French, 1851-1899) | Copeland (British, c. 1833-1966)


This exquisite antique plaque was painted by famous French porcelain artist Besche, who was preeminent as a painter of figurative subject matter.


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Depicting the Casket Scene from the Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare, as inscribed to reverse, this beautiful antique porcelain plaque is painted with exquisite artistry by the leading French porcelain artist L. Besche.

Showing the moment when Bassanio is offered a choice of three caskets in order to win the hand of the beautiful Portia, and correctly choosing the lead casket, unlike the previous two suitors, who chose the gold and silver caskets, shows a young nobleman, dressed in rich purple robes, before a young lady in white, acompanied by her entourage. Painted with wonderful skill, the various textures, colours, robes, and shades of the figures and objetcs within the composition are beautifully conveyed, as is the hopeful expectation from Portia that Bassanio will choose correctly.

It is impressed with the mark 'COPELAND' to reverse and signed to the front lower right 'L. BESCHE,' and is housed in a giltwood frame. It is possibly after a oil-painting attributed to Jack Leight Wardleworth, with the same composition.

Frame: height 47.5cm, width 65.5cm, depth 5cm
Plaque: 34cm, width 52cm, depth 1.5cm


Artist / Maker
By Besche (French, 1851-1899) , Copeland (British, c. 1833-1966)
Country of Origin
Date of Manufacture
Late 19th Century
Late 19th Century
Figurative Art, Shakespeare, Theatre & Literature, Urban Views / Townscapes
Gold, Multi-coloured


47.5 cm / 18.5 inches
65.5 cm / 25.6 inches
5 cm / 2 inches


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