Bowl

Porcelain bowls of this type that depict the ‘hongs’ or trading companies of Western merchants at Canton (Guangzhou) were produced by Chinese artisans for export. The earliest bowl to represent these buildings on the Canton waterfront was made for the Danish market around 1765. The 'hong bowls' can be dated from changes in the portrayal of architecture and landscaping, as well as the presence of flags indicating when and where various nations were in residence. While there are many views of the hongs by Western and Chinese artists – in oil on canvas, copper and glass, gouache, watercolour, in prints, on lacquer, silver and fans, there are relatively few views of the site on porcelain. This piece is a fine example that not only vividly conveys the beautiful scene at Canton, but also documents the trade between China and the West during the 18th and 19th centuries.