Welcome to our dynamic virtual museum. This site is dedicated to the Chinese Export porcelain pattern called CANTON. The success of this project depends not only on us but on your help! We welcome at all times: corrections; differences of opinions; notice of Canton forms we are not aware of; additional info on any of our subjects such as pioneer dealers we missed; public museums and historic sites not listed that have collections and famous Canton owners.
March-2014-----We took a trip to London in January and went to 5 museums. We found only one piece of Canton in the Victoria and Albert Museum and none at the British Museum though both have Chinese Export collections. Here is a picture of the Canton Ewer at the V&A (pardon the glass reflections):
We added a new Dresser Tray and a tiny Ginger Jar to the Museum. In the Fakes, Fantasies & Reproductions Gallery we added the following Fakes: square Tea Caddy, Cider Flagon, Bulbous Vase, and a pair of Bough Pots. Under Fantasy Items there is a Dish with 2 handle holes. In the Reproduction section there is a Bowl and Ginger Jar made circa 1980 marked "Old Canton Hand-Printed ©MANN" by Seymour Mann, Inc. a NYC company.
June-2013-----We are proud to announce today that the Canton China Virtual Museum is now open to the publiic. The purpose of the Museum is to promote the enjoyment and collection of Canton. Please feel free to browse all the beautiful galleries and the Museum Shop and enjoy yourself. All the Canton in the Museum is for sale. The preferred method for purchases is to contact us directly about what you might be interested in so we can explain the condition of items and their prices. There are a few categories in the Museum Shop that contain items for direct sale using a "shopping cart " system. Thank you for your interest!
April-2013-----We have just reached our 1st anniversary in creating this very large Canton website. To date, we have not promoted its existence but, a few people have seen it. We are nearing the point when we will announce this site; however, there will be some sections still "under construction". Please return frequently to see the curators’ progress.
In the last 3 months we have completed these museum galleries:
All Canton Forms (220 forms with pictures and details)
Very Rare/Unique Canton Forms (42 forms)
Tops & Bottoms (18 pages)
Repaired Canton (3 pages)
Mixed Pattern (3 forms)
"Non Canton" Canton (6 forms)
Frankly, we have procrastinated for years hoping to do a book or waiting for others to do one. How things have changed in the last few decades! The computer, the internet, digital photography, self publishing, Wikopedia, ebooks, ipads, etc. A book published today will be out-of-date tomorrow. Would the younger generation even look for a book for Canton information in a bookstore or would libraries stock one? Because this site will be added to with additional knowledge we learn and from help from you the reader, this virtual museum will be a dynamic source for Canton knowledge.
Collectors love Canton for several reasons. Blue and white porcelain has always attracted people because of the colors. That attraction plus the large number of forms, many of which are still useful today in the home, and the plentifulness of Canton for purchase appeal to many. So, displayed on shelves and in cabinets or placed on the dining table, people marvel at Canton’s beauty and usefulness.
Chinese porcelain was traded throughout the world for centuries as it was the only hard porcelain available until the 1800s, and Canton was the most readily available to Americans once the United States began to trade with China. Historically, it has been the most plentiful and easiest to collect.
Blue and White has long been a favorite color for decorating a home, and Canton is the epitome of the finest blue and white. There is a folkiness to the Canton design that is appealing to collectors as each piece is hand painted and different, and it compliments all decors whether formal or country. No matter where a cut corner bowl, or a scalloped bowl, is placed, it perks up the spot.
The many beautiful forms available make it easy to fill a cupboard or sideboard with an outstanding display, and adds to its appeal. Plates, platters and serving dishes provide a backdrop for the fuller forms of pitchers, teapots, cider jugs and brush pots in a cupboard.
Because Canton is plentiful and durable, many collectors feel comfortable using it for everyday kitchenware, or special occasions, thus it remains very utilitarian and desirable.
And many people collect Canton because it was used in early American homes along the East Coast, and is historically important. Unlike other Chinese Export porcelain, it was carried by ships as ballast so arrived on our shores in huge numbers, whereas special order porcelain was very limited in quantity.