The subjects are thought to be two members of the Black Watch regiment that took part in a short-lived mutiny in Flanders in March 1743. Rifleman Shaw was among those shot at the Tower on July 18, 1743. Piper Macdonnel was sent to Georgia as a convict. The scene of the two Jacobite ‘martyrs’ is taken from 1743 engravings by George Bickham.
Highlander plates feature in a number of major Chinese export and Jacobite themed collections. The example pictured above, with a chip to the foot and some wear to the enamel, came up for sale at South Africa auctioneers Stephan Welz in Johannesburg on February 25-26 with a very appealing estimate of R25,000-35,000.
In fact it made something closer to other examples from the series sold in recent years when it was hammered at R380,000 (£20,000).