Tureen with cover

Date: 1770–80

Geography: Made for Mexico; Made in China

Culture: Chinese

Medium: Hard-paste porcelain, enamel, gilt

Dimensions: H. 11 1/16 in. (28.1 cm.); Diam. 11 13/16 in. (30.0 cm.)

Classification: Ceramics

Credit Line: Helena Woolworth McCann Collection, Gift of Winfield Foundation, 1951

Accession Number: 51.86.28a, b


This tureen was part of a large service commissioned by the enlightened José de Gálvez, marqués de Sonora, appointed visitador of New Spain in 1765 and later minister of the Indies. Its simple shape, decorated by ribbons of leaf swags and roses, reflects the conformation of Chinese porcelain manufacturers to the taste of late eighteenth-century Europe and America. Elite families in Mexico were in the vanguard of adopting the newer fashions and commissioned huge quantities of such armorial porcelains (equally popular among the wealthy British colonists). Wares destined for the Mexican market were carried via the Manila Galleon trade, which continued in the Pacific until 1815.