Colourful Canton

Cantonese porcelain is the style of Chinese porcelain decorated in Guangzhou, the capital of Guangdong, and at the time, romanized as Canton.



Each piece was exported form the port of Canton and as a result, this is how the name Cantonese porcelain came about. Like most Chinese porcelain pieces, each item was potted, fired and glazed in the city of Jingdezhen, during the 19th Century. Cantonese porcelain was exported to the west, with many pieces ending up in the UK. Such pieces include vases, bowls, plates, chargers and cups to name a few. Continuing on from the 18th Century, Cantonese porcelain pieces were in some cases, made to order for large country houses. Each piece was decorated with a mix of figural scenes, as well as birds, flowers, foliage and the armorial/crest for the family/house was applied. There are three categories of Cantonese porcelain. These being Rose Canton which is decorated with flowers, birds and insects but no people, Rose Mandarin, where the main scene is a decorated panel of figures and Rose Medallion which has different panels that may be of different subjects, with a medallion in the centre of the piece.
Amongst all the splendid pieces in our upcoming Asian Art Auction, there are some truly fine Cantonese pieces within the sale. One such item is Lot 1114, an early 19th Century Chinese Cantonese plate, dating to around 1840. What's particularly rare about this exquisite example of early Cantonese porcelain, is it comes decorated with a really rather fine and unusual Rose Mandarin scene, depicting a dominant figure, confiding with the other figures over a scroll, surrounded by a censor with smoke, a tea pot and vases of flowers, along with several borders depicting ribbons, peonies, flowers and birds, all with rich gilding. Unlike other similar plates of this form and age, the figural scene is particularly well done and the estimate compliments this piece of £100 - £200. 
Another such piece is lot 1153, a Chinese, Cantonese vase, decorated with Rose Mandarin scenes, depicting many figures in an outside court socialising and drinking tea/coffee, surrounded by unusual borders and buddhist shaped motifs, with peonies and shaped petals around the everted rim of the vase.  Dating to around 1840, this vase is another example of early Chinese Cantonese porcelain and is estimated at £200 -£300.
Join us at McTear's Auctioneers on 17 March at 13:00 for this auction.




For a complimentary, no-obligation valuation, visit our Glasgow Galleries or contact a specialist on 0141 810 2880 or

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