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Lid from a Canton famille-rose dinner service

Date: c 1856
Overall: 70 x 150 x 120 mm, 0.26 kg
Medium: Ceramic
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Purchased with USA Bicentennial Gift funds
Object Name: Tureen lid
Object No: 00030827
Place Manufactured:Zhonghua

User Terms

    During the 18th and 19th centuries China was a centre of production and commerce of domestic goods including porcelain, pewterware and silver for the European, British and American markets. This piece is part of a famille-rose dinner service made for George Francis Train, a prominent merchant during the mid 19th century. The soup tureen lid features scenes of Mandarin society where again, the themes of scholarly pursuit, leisure and peace preside. The rim is embellished with famille-rose butterflies, fruit, flowers and birds.
    SignificanceThis piece belonged to the American merchant George Francis Train who opened a shipping office in Melbourne in 1853 and 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 famille-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.
    Additional Titles

    Web title: Lid from a Canton famille-rose dinner service

    Primary title: Tureen lid from a Canton famille-rose dinner service made for George Francis Train in China

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