Punch Bowl

zoomable artifact image here


Chinese export porcelain punch bowl. This bowl was brought back to New York on the Empress of China, the first American vessel to complete the 18,000-mile journey to China. One of thirty-four foreign vessels to call at Canton in 1784, the Empress of China carried lead, lumber, cotton cloth, ginseng, and silver specie to exchange for tea, silks, and porcelain. During the ships four month stay in China, the ships carpenter, John Morgan, purchased several pieces of porcelain, including this punch bowl decorated with a Chinese impression of a Swedish ship. Morgan died during the passage home, but his pieces of the first Chinaware imported directly into the U.S. were delivered to his family in Groton, Connecticut. The bowl is grayish with umber borders around the base and inside the rim. A rose motif appears inside, under, and along the outside edge of the bowl. Identical ships adorn each side.