Graduated Forms Gallery


This Graduated Forms Gallery was created to show in one place, groupings of very rare forms such as canisters and cider jugs and common forms like octagonal platters. These graduated forms are also in the All Forms Canton Gallery.

These groupings are the result of 50 years of collecting. If other collectors would like to share with the Museum their graduated collections they would be welcome.

BOWLS-6 LOBE (Deep Scallops, Rain Cloud Border)

These 6 Lobe Bowls are very similar to the rarer 4 Lobe Bowls. We value them a little less than the 4 lobes. They both have 4 outside flowers, glazed bottoms and deep scallops.

Pictured are 5 examples from 10 1/2″ wide to the smallest 6″ bowl. Larger and smaller bowls may exist: a 10 5/8″ x 4 1/4″ bowl has been seen. The Campbell’s soup can gives some size perspective.

BOWLS-LATE (Straight Line Border)

These are 7 later 19th Century-early 20th Century bowls that have the more primitive straight line borders not rain cloud borders. They have less carefully painted Canton scenes than the earlier bowls. The porcelain is thin and all the bottoms are glazed. They range from a 4 1/4″ diameter handleless teacup (marked “CHINA”) to the largest 10 3/8″ diameter bowl. They weigh from 5 oz. to 2 lbs. 14 oz. The middle picture shows all the bowls stacked together.


Highly prized when they can be found are these Punch Bowls. The larger they are the more expensive they are. The largest shown here is 16 1/8″ in diameter, note that it is marked “China” on the bottom (exported after 1890). Herbert Schiffer said punch bowls go as large as 20″ and that bowls larger than 16″ “are extremely rare”. The smallest here is 10″.

BOWLS-SUGAR-EARLY (Twisted Handles, Berry Knob)

Canton Sugar Bowls and their accompanying teapots and creamers make up a confusing world in defining the many, many variations to be found. Designations that have come into common useage will be physical descriptions of the bowls such as “Drum Shape”, “Pear Shape”, “Ball Shape”, “Barrel Shape” and “Conical Shape”. In buying any sugar bowl make sure the top fits well.


These thin (1/8″-3/16″) walled Brush Holders also differ from their thick walled cousins in their narrowness and height of at least 7″ to 10+” compared to 4″ to 5″ for the smaller holders. The form in China was probably used for tall paint brushes but, commonly used in the U. S. as flower vases.

They all have bottom rims and glazed bottoms. The two larger holders are slightly flared at the top. As one can see, the top rim decoration differs among the examples.


Pairs of candlesticks are a prized Canton form and command high prices. The 5 pairs shown here range in size from 5 5/8″ high to 11 1/8″ high. Individual sticks in a pair may vary a bit in size, rarely are they exactly the same. There may be smaller or larger candlesticks. Most candlesticks have the rain cloud border near the top of the candlesticks but some (see the 2nd smallest pair) have the border near the base.


Of the 3 different Canister sets: barrel shape, round and square, we feel the barrel sets are the hardest to assemble. Pictured here are 7 barrels with a noticeable gap in height in the middle. Also there are larger and smaller ones, Schiffer says up to 10″ high and small ones of 1″. These 7 range from 1 3/8″ to 4 7/8″ high. It is believed that canisters were used to hold tea and spices. They nest nicely together which made them easy to ship.


Of the 3 different Canister sets: barrel shape, round and square we feel the round canisters are the second hardest to assemble a set. Pictured here are 10 round canisters that range from 1 1/2″ to 4 7/8″ high. There are probably larger ones. It is believed that canisters were used to hold tea and spices. Some of them nest nicely together which made them easy to ship.

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