'Famille rose' punchbowl showing the Western trading stations along the Canton waterfront. Like BM Franks. 745+, this punchbowl is decorated with continuous scenes of the foreign trading stations along the banks of the Pearl River at Canton, but in 'famille rose' enamels. Here the national flags are shown in a different order and identify buildings hired by the East India Companies of Holland, England, Sweden, France, Austria and Denmark. Chinese commercial boats are moored along the quay, and Chinese and European merchants, the latter distinguished by their tricorne hats and frock coats, stroll along the dock. Inside the bowl is a basket of flowers contained within a floral medallion. Known as a hong punchbowl.
- 1780-1790 (circa)
- Found/Acquired: China
- Height: 15.7 centimetres
- Diameter: 36.6 centimetres
- Weight: 2.85 kilograms
Harrison-Hall and Krahl 1994:
The architectural details of the trading stations depicted on this bowl, where the British factory is shown with slender pillars as porch supports and no arches, suggest that this bowl depicts Canton at an earlier date than BM Franks. 745+ and was painted after an earlier view. A similar view appears in a scroll in the British Library, painted for the Western market between about 1760 and 1770 by an anonymous Chinese artist (K. top 116. 23. Roll.cab.12). In terms of quality, however, the present bowl does not seem to predate the last.
'Hong' bowls of the 'famille rose' such as this piece are more common than examples painted 'en grisaille'. Similarly decorated pieces include one in the Metropolitan Museum, New York (Le Corbeiller, 1974. no.49), and another in a private collection (Godden, 1979, no. 16). Such bowls were brought back from China as souvenirs, as part of a merchant's or seaman's private cargo; in 1785 Captain Green of "The Empress of China", is recorded to have brought at least four enamelled bowls with factory scenes back to America.Rawson 1992:
The British were not as successful as the Dutch in their trade with China in the seventeenth century, but they rose to a position of dominance in the eighteenth century. At first several British companies were engaged in the quest for spices, silks and tea. However, these were merged in 1709 to form the British East India Company, which set up an office in Canton in 1715, closely followed by the Dutch, French, Danish, Swedish and, later, in 1784, the Americans. In 1729 the Chinese deliberately restricted trade with the West to the port of Canton, where it was closely supervised by an official from the Imperial Household Department. The row of 'foreign' factories or offices along the Canton waterfront was painted on porcelain as well as in oils and watercolours for Western traders to take home as souvenirs.
1994, Taiwan, National Museum of History, Ancient Chinese Trade Ceramics
2012 22 Jun-2013 6 Jan, Beijing, National Museum of China, ‘Passion for Porcelain’
2007, Beijing, Palace Museum, Britain Meets the World: 1714-1830
2008, Sep-Nov, Osaka, National Museum of Ethnology, 'Self and Other'
2008 Dec 8-2009 Jan 25, Fukuoka Asian Art Museum, 'Self and Other'
2009 Feb 7-Mar 29 , Hayama, Museum of Modern Art, 'Self and Other'
- Topographic representation of: Guangzhou
- (Asia,China,Guangdong (province),Guangzhou)
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Object reference number: RRC2428
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