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The completion of the greenhouse at Mount Vernon in 1787 enabled George Washington to experiment with growing a variety of exotic and tropical plants. In addition to lemons, limes, oranges, and palm trees, Washington grew aloe and coffee plants, perhaps bringing specimens to the main house for family and guests to enjoy. This Chinese export porcelain flowerpot may have been one of "5 China flower pots" listed in the Front Parlor in Washington's estate inventory.


Hexagonal porcelain flowerpot with flat rim, lobed at the corners, and splayed foot; rim decorated in underglaze blue reserves at each corner and a diamond diaper design in between; three of the reserves on the rim feature the open lozenge or fang sheng motif while the other three feature the mirror or zhing motif; exterior decorated with a continuous underglaze blue landscape depicting homes, figures, and a fence on an island, boats on a river, another island with four homes, and mountains in the background throughout; each side of the foot is pierced with alternating circles and horizontal teardrops which are surrounded in underglaze blue scrollwork; a circular drainage hole is located at the base of the well.


1760- 1780



Porcelain (hard-paste)


Overall (H x W x D): 9 1/2 in. x 14 1/4 in. x 9 7/8 in. (24.13 cm x 36.2 cm x 25.1 cm)

Credit Line

Purchase, 1986

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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