Search the Collection
Advanced Search

Shallow bowl from a Canton famille-rose dinner service made for George Francis Train in China.

Date: c 1856
Dimensions:
Overall: 252 x 252 x 46 mm, 0.58 kg
Display Dimensions: 252 x 252 x 46 mm
Medium: Ceramic
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Purchased with USA Bicentennial Gift funds
Object Name: Soup Bowl
Object No: 00030810
Place Manufactured:Zhonghua

User Terms

    Description
    This shallow soup bowl is part of a famille-rose dinner service made for George Francis Train, a prominent merchant during the mid 19th century. The piece features scenes of Mandarin court society taking place in traditional buildings and landscapes which was a popular theme on export porcelain to America at the time. This particular scene is of interest as there appears to be some tension between the figures - in particuilar one of the females and a male who looks to be restrained. The border around the bowls edge is embellished with famille-rose butterflies, fruit, flowers and birds and a monogrammed "T".
    SignificanceGeorge Francis Train was an American who opened a shipping office in Melbourne in 1853. He returned to New York via China in 1856.
    HistoryIn the early years following the American Revolution there was a demand for Chinese trade to supply manufactured products such as porcelain, silk and tea, which were not yet available in America. This meant that by the 1830s trade routes from America to China were well established. As a result many wealthy families and merchants of the time possessed numerous Chinese manufacture items in their homes.

    George Francis Train was born in Boston in 1829 and became famous for his entrepreneurial achievements, merchant adventuring and wealth. After a stint as a grocery clerk, Train began his career in shipping in 1845 when he joined his Uncle's Clipper Shipping Business. He established his own shipping firm in Melbourne, Australia in 1853. Throughout his mercantile career, he circumnavigated the globe four times. In 1856 he spent a year in China and it is thought that he ordered this Famill-rose dinner service set during this time. Upon his return to America he invested in steel railways and railroads, formed a Finance Company and built various properties ensuring the growth of his fortune.

    Discuss this Object

    Comments

    Please log in to add a comment.