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Tureen cover from a Chinese export porcelain dinner service

Date: c 1799
Overall: 115 x 279 mm, 0.9 kg
Medium: Enamel, gilt, porcelain
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Purchased with USA Bicentennial Gift funds
Object Name: Tureen cover
Object No: 00015445
Place Manufactured:Zhonghua

User Terms

    This tureen cover is part of a Chinese export porcelain dinner service that was manufactured in Canton, China during the Quianlong period. It is decorated with floral sprays and a medallion with stars. During the 19th century China was active in the production of porcelain, silver and pertar ware. Many western homes owned items that were manufactured in China for buyers in Europe, America and Australia

    This dinner service set which was made for the Dale Family of Philadelphia, and commissioned by Richard Dale, First Mate on the ALLIANCE.
    SignificanceRichard Dale and the crew of the ALLIANCE were the first Americans to sight Australia, having passed by on their pioneering voyage to China. The development of the China trade was integral to the development of trade between the new Australian colonies and the United States.
    HistoryThis dish is decorated in a style ordered almost exclusively from America in the period 1796 to 1805. The porcelain trade from China to America began in 1784 and flourished quickly ensuring that America was China's principal trading partner by 1830. In 'China for the West' David Howard and John Ayres note 'Quality was not high, nor design original, and interest in American trade porcelain must centre on those designs which reflect the short history or new-found taste of the newly-independent United States'.

    In 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. Prior to The First Opium War (1839-1842), Canton was the sole foreign trading port in China. However the signing of the Treaty of Nanjing in 1782 at the end of the First Opium War between Britain and China, saw four other Chinese ports opened up to international trade. This meant that Canton's monopoly over foreign trade was reduced.

    The USS ALLIANCE was a frigate which fought in the American War of Independence. It was built by the shipbuilders William and John Hackett of Massachusetts in 1777 and launched in 1778. During the War, it fought and claimed a number of British ships as prizes until 1783. It was sold and turned into a merchant ship in 1785 for sailing to the Orient. Her new Commander, Thomas Read, undertook the voyage to China by a new route through the Dutch East Indies and the Solomon Islands. It was in December 1787 that the ALLIANCE, with Richard Dale on board, is thought to have seen Australia, a few weeks before the First Fleet.
    Additional Titles

    Assigned title: Terrine von einem chinesischen Export-Porzellan-Geschirr

    Assigned title: Terrine van een Chinese export porselein servies

    Web title: Tureen cover from a Chinese export porcelain dinner service

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