This Chinese export porcelain plate is part of an extensive dinner service which likely belonged to Mary Anna Randolph Custis Lee, great-granddaughter of Martha Washington and wife of General Robert E. Lee. It features the “Canton” landscape, the most common pattern on blue-and-white porcelain shipped to America in the nineteenth century. By the time this plate was deposited with the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association in 1935, the Lee family porcelains and the Washington-owned pieces they inherited had become commingled and had lost their identities.


Octagonal plate with notched or indented corners 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 trellis or network band. The rim has an outer narrow band of hatched lines on a blue ground, a wider central diamond and asterisk or starred network 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): 1 in. x 7 5/16 in. x 7 5/16 in. (2.54 cm x 18.57 cm x 18.57 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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