These are two rare Soup Tureens. They are very attractive and they are oval or oblong in shape. The tureens are distinguished by their twisted handles and mushroom knobs (sometimes called "Passion Flower" knobs). The tops have a stepped up shape, are decorated with 4 leaves radiating outward from the knobs and have the rain cloud borders. The insides are not decorated. The Canton scene is on the tops and on both sides. The bottoms are glazed.
These trays are quite rare and there are similarities and differences between the 6 that are pictured. First, the similarities are: all have the Canton pattern in the same place, all have indented corners (see 3rd & 4th pics), all have raised sides (tray heights range from 5/8" to 1"), all have unglazed bottoms, and all have orange peel surfaces. The differences are: 3 of the 6 have tiny valleys in the top rim and one of these (see 4th pic) has blue painted in the valley, the smallest tray is considerably thinner and more delicate than the others, and all but one tray have leaves (see 5th pic) on the 4 outside edges. They range in size from 6 3/4" long to 10 1/2".
Believed to be used as dresser or pin trays. We have recently added a larger example, maybe a second larger one will surface some day. All four shown have lips ranging from 1/4" to 5/8". #2 does not have a rain cloud border. #s 1, 3 & 4 do have the typical rain cloud borders. Only #1 has outside decoration, probably because there is more room for the decoration. All have completely unglazed bottoms except #4 that is marked "CHINA" with a glaze patch over the "CHINA". These are rare and useful Canton forms.
Canton Tea, Coffee and Chocolate Pots make up a confusing world in defining the many, many variations to be found. Therefore, we have listed all of them under "Teapots". Designations that have come into common useage such as "Censor", "Dome-Top", "Lighthouse" will be used as well as physical descriptions such as "Drum Shape", "Pear Shape" and "Conical Shape". In buying any teapot make sure the top fits well.
Tazzas/Compotes--"Tazza" is derived from Italian and "Compote" from French. The names have been used interchangeably over the years. Herbert Schiffer used "Tazza" & Jane Wilson "Compote" in their writings. There are two different Canton tazzas. They are either a late straight line border, thin porcelain, round dish on a high pedestal base or an earlier, rain cloud border, thicker porcelain, diamond shape dish on a low footed base. Both bases are hollow and glazed inside.
We are listing this Canton form separately from the Dome Top Teapots that they are normally associated with. They also may have been used as stands for other types of teapots and the four different forms of tiles/trivets were also probably used under any hot pots, dishes and bowls. We have broken these stands into 2 groups:
Saucers are a large and confusing category. They are sometimes called "sauce dishes" or "bowls", they get mixed up in auction sales and do not get matched with their original cups and, they are fragile and they or their cups have been replaced over the years. Practically all are of late manufacture, some are marked "China", many are not. Some are flat, some are more bowl shaped, some have little insets for cups, most do not.
Oval platters are scarcer than the common octagonal platters accordingly, they command higher prices for the same size platter. They are attractive with their full Canton scene and rain cloud borders. They have unglazed bottoms and they do not have any decoration on the undersides. The 8 (the largest 19 5/8" platter would not fit in the picture so is shown by itself) oval platters shown here range in size from 10 3/8' long to 19 5/8" long and weigh from 1 lb. 1 oz. to 8 lbs. 2 oz. (since creating this page, I learned of an 17 5/8" x 21" example). The two pictures of the 2 platters show the largest and the smallest ones. The last 3 pictures show the two stands described in the next paragraph.
Octagonal platters are common compared to oval platters, accordingly they command lower prices for the same size platter. Pricewise, there is an escalating range up the length ladder to the very large 20+" platters. They are attractive with their full Canton scene and rain cloud borders. They all have unglazed bottoms and they do not have any decoration on the undersides.
These Canton meat platters and strainers are very useful and are hard to find complete. A set is worth more than the sum of its parts. Individually, platters or strainers are scarce, a set is considered rare. First are 3 sets shown with the pieces together and separate. Next are the bottoms of both the platters and strainers showing they are unglazed.