The octagonal form and triangle-work inner border on this plate distinguishes it as an early example of Chinese “Canton” pattern porcelain, which features a willow tree next to a pavilion complex and a flat-topped bridge. It may have been acquired by George or Martha Washington for use at Mount Vernon at the end of the eighteenth century, or by their grandson, George Washington Parke Custis, as he was establishing his own household at nearby Arlington House.


Octagonal plate with a plain rim and an integral foot ring, decorated in underglaze cobalt blue. Centered in the well is a right-anchored landscape with a pavilion complex, willow tree, and the fronds of a branch emerging at right along the well. A single-masted ship appears in the river just below center and there is a flat-top bridge in the foreground at bottom. The sides of the well feature a triangle-work band. The rim has an outer narrow triangle-work band, a wider central coin design band, and an inner “rain and cloud” border of diagonal dashes and a scalloped line.

Pattern Names: Canton





Porcelain (hard-paste)


Overall (H x W x D): 7/8 in. x 7 3/8 in. x 7 1/2 in. (2.22 cm x 18.73 cm x 19.05 cm)

Credit Line

Purchased by the A. Alfred Taubman Acquisition Endowment Fund and partial gift of an anonymous donor, 2004

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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