Chinese hand-painted blue and white porcelain in standard patterns, such as landscape and river scenes, offered Westerners a romanticized glimpse of the exotic East and were prized for their durability and artistry. This saucer is part of an extensive dinner service which once belonged to Elizabeth Willing Powel, wife of Philadelphia mayor Samuel Powel who died in 1793, and a close friend of George and Martha Washington. Powel family descendants recorded that George Washington dined off this porcelain, perhaps while attending one of the dinners or salons for which the intelligent, witty Mrs. Powel was known.


Circular saucer with a plain, concave rim and a shallow foot ring. The saucer features underglaze cobalt blue decoration. Centered in the well is a right-anchored landscape with a large pavilion and walled garden complex enclosing a banana tree. Two clumps of pine trees incline toward one another on the two small points of land in the background at top. In the foreground below is a single figure holding a parasol on a bridge; a sampan or single-oared, flat-bottomed boat is in the river to the left. The sides of the well feature a trellis-diaper border with three reserves containing Buddhist emblems, while the rim has a trellis-diaper border with spearheads and double dots.
Pattern Names: Inclined Pines, Nanking.





Porcelain (hard-paste)


Overall (H x W x D): 1 3/16 in. x 6 3/16 in. x 6 1/8 in. (3.02 cm x 15.72 cm x 15.56 cm)

Credit Line

Gift of Thomas I. H. Powel, 1978

Object Number


Colors (Beta)

Mount Vernon's object research is ongoing and information about this object is subject to change. For information on image use and reproductions, click here.
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