Welcome to the Van Deusen Virtual Canton Museum

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.

Current Developments at the Museum

2018———As many of our friends and collectors know, we have been selling a majority of our very large collection of 1,000+ pieces over the past 4 years. We still have 100 major and rare pieces besides plates, cups, bowls and more common items. To learn what we have available, please contact us at 860-435-0088 or rtn.hoby@snet.net OR simply look under “Museums Galleries” and find the “All Canton Forms Gallery” section. Then, click on the various forms that you are interested in and their availability will be shown. If you buy multiple pieces you will be entitled to a discount.

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.

In the Museum Shop, 4 new Canton items were added, 7 pieces were reduced in price and 3 items added to the Attractive & Affordable section and 6 Nanking pieces were reduced.
Look for our ads announcing our museum in 4 antique trade papers starting in April. Lately, we have had visitors from around the world to the website and they have been enthusiastic in their comments:
“…was thrilled to be also referred to your virtual museum. Grandmother and Mom collected Canton, so we enjoy and use it every day, third generation. We seem to have been always on the hunt for fill ins over the years. Your website helps us immensely as collectors with comprehensive reference to shape, size, and relative rarity of form, affording the collector informed choice and and relative rarity of form, affording the collector informed choice and absolute confidence. Thank you so much for this education and how truly your hard work and devotion shows!!”
“…your message, and especially your web site have made the last few days a very special experience.”
“I’m going to take some time to brood over the huge plethora of pictures in the CCVM. I’ve already started to develop a wish list from cursorily paging through it–some pieces I didn’t even know existed!”
We have enjoyed meeting and working closely with Canton collectors and we thank you so much for your strong support!
Just a reminder all items in the museum are for sale unless otherwise noted.
November-2013—–We took the summer and part of the fall off. We have recently added 5 forms or new variations to the All Canton Forms Gallery, they are: 1) a tiny Marmite to the two previously known 2) a very large 4-Loop Tray to 3 smaller ones 3) a new Quatrefoil Butter Pat variation 4) a magnificent Cider Jug with a spout cover but no strainer holes and 5) a Chamber Pot with a different loop knob. We are always interested in learning about and adding new forms or variations to this Virtual Museum. Feel free to contact us anytime for additions, site recommendations or criticisms.

June-2013—–We are proud to announce today that the Canton China Virtual Museum is now open to the public. 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)

Why A Virtual Museum?

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.

Why Canton?

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.