REF No. 6671
Chinese export porcelain Hong Bowl painted en grisaille
Qianlong period circa 1786-89
American or English Market
Diameter: 15 inches; 39cm
An extremely rare Chinese export punchbowl painted en grisaille with a continuous scene of the Hongs at Canton, showing the Danish, French, ‘Imperialist’, Swedish, British, American and Dutch flags, with a fence at the front, the interior with a ship.
This is an extremely rare Hong bowl, only a handful of others en grisaille are recorded in two groups, one group having the American flag placed here between the British and Dutch Hongs. Originally it was thought that this was a mistake by the painter, but it appears thus on a number of punchbowls and recent research suggests that the earliest American base (1786-8) might have been in that position. An identical example in Temple Newsam, Leeds has the same ship inside which is identified as the East Indiaman William Pitt (II) which was in Canton 1786-1787 under Captain George Cowper and in 1789-90 under Captain Edward Manning, the latter is thought to have brought that bowl back - and so possibly this one too.
Related Examples: Sargent 2012, No 240, similar bowl but without the US flag in the Peabody Essex Museum; a British Museum example (No Franks.745.+) illustrated in Harrison Hall 1994, fig 6, no US flag; another in the Art Institute of Chicago with US flag; another at Temple Newsam, Leeds, which has a US flag as here and a ship inside.