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.