Also Called :

Compotes, Curry Dishes

Rarity :


Age :

Mid 19th Century to Late 19th Century

Price Range :

$400.-$700. (depending on size and decoration)

Dimensions :

Left to Right:

9 1/8″ diameter x 3 3/4″ high

8 3/4″ diameter x 3 5/8″ high

8 1/4″ diameter x 3 1/2″ high

7″ diameter x 3 3/8″ high

5 1/2″ diameter x 3″ high


Weight :

Left to Right:

2 lbs. 4 oz.—–2 lbs. 2 oz.—-1 lb. 6 oz.—–1 lb. 5 oz.—–9 oz.

Provenance :

Left to Right:


Skinner Auction, MA-1988

Skinner Auction, MA-1989


Jim Galley, PA-2004

Availability :


Description: 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.

This page is devoted to the high pedestal base tazzas. These are rare and come in several sizes. Shown here are nine examples ranging in size from 5 1/2″ to 9 1/8″ in diameter. We do not know of these tazzas with smaller or larger diameters. Tradionally they were used to serve fruit, nuts and candy and are quite decorative. Some people have stacked 2 or more of them to have a tiered look (see next to last picture) and used as centerpieces but they are slippery that way. All but two of our 9 examples have straight line borders, the other two have the rain cloud border (see last picture). On the underside of the dishes 6 of 9 have 3 bats each in blue. The Chinese consider bats to be symbols of happiness, joy and prosperity. All pedestal bases have squiggle like decorations near the top and leaves below pointing upward. Herbert Schiffer’s book on page 207 calls the leaves “Ming leaves”. He pictures a very odd ball Tazza that differs substantially from the ones we have seen: flowers on the under side of the dish not bats, the base has leaves pointing down and has a rain cloud border near the bottom and there are also the swastika like symbols found on other Canton forms.

Because the rims are thin and fragile they are very susceptible to chipping and cracking and they are rarely found in perfect condition. Tazzas are quite popular and are not inexpensive in good condition.

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