Dishes


CONDIMENT SETS

Description:  Canton Condiment Sets are much sought after and hard to find with all 9 pieces in perfect condition. Even harder to find is a set in the tradional lacquer box. That is why the price range is a wide one.

Pictured first is a full Canton pattern set nestled on a rattan mat. The second set is the Canton pattern but missing the rain cloud borders. It is in a black and gold lacquer box. Next is the square center sections from each of the sets, they both are about 3 3/4" square. After them are the fronts and backs of pieces showing the different decoration and the unglazed bottoms that all the pieces have. In the last picture the lacquer box is shown.

Fairly regularly, individual pieces from sets are sold in the $75.-$100. range.

DISHES--SAUCE-LATE-4+" (Straight Line Border)

Description:  These late 4" Sauce Dishes are common. They range in diameter from 4 1/4" to 4 1/2" and from 1" to 1 1/4" deep. The 2 sauce dishes pictured are a representative sample. These late dishes have glazed bottoms, are made of thin porcelain and have straight-line borders.

DISHES--SAUCE-LATE-5+" (Straight Line Border)

Description:  These late 5" Sauce Dishes are common. They range in diameter from 5" to 5 1/4" and from 1 1/8" to 1 3/8" high. The 2 sauce dishes pictured are a representative sample. These late sauce dishes have glazed bottoms, are made of thin porcelain and have straight-line borders.

DISHES-BONBON (3 Pieces)

Description:  "Bonbon" is the French word for candied fruit. "Sweetmeat" is the English version for the same delicacies and earlier usage included little cakes or pastries. These terms can be used interchangeably. "Terrapin", a word for turtles, was occasionally used as the cover and dish resembled a turtle's shell.

DISHES-CELERY (Elongated Oval)

Description: Several names have been given to these elongated oval, narrow dishes: Celery, Relish & Eel. Take your pick but, over the years we have heard celery used the most. There is another variation of these celery, relish, eel dishes, the elongated octagonal celery dish which is discussed on another page. They are more common than these ovals.

Elongated oval celery dishes are rare, these two are the only ones we have seen. They all have unglazed bottoms.

DISHES-CELERY (OCTAGONAL)

Description:   Several names have been given to these elongated octagonal, narrow dishes: Celery, Relish & Eel.  Take your pick but, over the years I have heard celery used the most. There is another variation of these celery, relish, eel dishes, the elongated oval dish which is discussed on another page. They are even rarer than these octagonals.

Celery dishes are quite scarce and are seldom seen. They all have unglazed bottoms.

DISHES-COVERED SAUCE

Description:  Frankly, we do not know the purpose of this covered dish or really what to call it. The bottom is thick and sturdy whereas the top is thinner. The bottom has an inset edge into which the top fits perfectly. Only the top has the rain cloud border and there is no outside decoration on the bottom sides. The bottom is glazed. The top has a flat blue knob. We date it to the late 19th Century.   

DISHES-LEAF

Description:  Leaf dishes certainly are one of Canton's most favorite forms and they are readily available. In the first pictures are 13 in descending size order. They start off with an enormous  9 3/4" long dish down to a tiny example at 3 1/2" long and 2.7 oz. All leaf dishes have slightly scalloped rims, a tip at one end and a dip at the other end. There are no decorations outside of the interiors. They all have bottom rims and glazed bottoms. Most all leaf dishes have the tip bending left but, several bend to the right (see last two pictures). As to their use there are many possibilities: pickle dish, chop stick or spoon rest, sauce dish, candy or nut dish.

DISHES-SHRIMP

Description: Shrimp dishes are one of our favorite Canton forms. These are shell shaped serving dishes and we think the most interesting aspect of them are the eyes of the shrimp! Each decoration at the wide end of the rim is different on the 5 shrimp dishes shown here. 3 of the 5 pairs of eyes have eyebrows. Then there are the alternating white and blue lines and several have 8 little projections on the rim. See the last 3 pictures for closeups.

FISH

Description: Fish are one of the forms that many Canton collectors have in their collections. Of course, they are not in the Canton pattern and we are not even sure they are Chinese. Many people think they are Japanese. In any event, here is a selection of 7 fish. Even their use is in question. Were they sauce and condiment dishes or for fish bones. One theory is that they were for chop sticks, the stick's ends were placed inside and the V tails held the rest of the sticks. Hopefully they were not ash trays!

They range in size from 4 1/2" long to 7 3/8" long. The largest one we have seen has gold highlights on the scales and colorful flowers inside. The scales of all the fish are molded on the top sides and especially on the bottom sides. The smaller fish are fairly common but the largest with gilt is very scarce.

Recently seen for the first time, is a second type of fish closely related to the more common fish described above. This single fish shown in the last 3 pictures is smaller but has the same moulded fish scales and seems to have been made by the same people. This example has a useful handle and the mouth is turned upwards. Might this be a small cream pitcher or tooth pick holder? It has a 2 5/8" diameter and is 3" high. A rare and very interesting addition to the "Non-Canton" Canton Gallery.