China Trade collection




A collection of approximately 200 object of Chinese export wares dating from 1799 through the 1930s. There are two major dinner services of Chinese export porcelain which relate to the American mariner Richard Dale dated 1799 and American entrepenuer George Francis Train dated about 1856. In addition there are examples of pewterware, silverware, tea containers, maps of Chinese harbours and prints of Chinese landmarks.

In the early years following the American Revolution there was a demand for Chinese trade to supply manufactured products such as porcelain, silk and tea, which were not yet available in America. Richard Dale was first officer onboard the ALLIANCE when it pioneered the new route to Canton that brought American vessels past the new colony in New South Wales. On a later voyage he commissioned a porcelain dinner service to bring back to America. By the 1830s trade routes from America to China were well established and as a result, many wealthy families and merchants of the time possessed numerous Chinese manufactured items in their homes. Chinese fabric, fans were adopted in the fashion trends of the time and tea was an integral part of social entertaining.

Some material included in this collection may be subject to copyright

By appointment only, please contact ANMM

Parts of this collection are digitised and available on the ANMM web site


1799-1930; Chinese export; Porcelain; Silverware; Trade routes

Commerce; Entrepreneurship

Dinner sets; Tableware

Coverage Spatial

China; United States; Hong Kong

Coverage Temporal



Related Collections


2012-05-30 23:40