Artist/maker unknown, Chinese, for export to the American market

Made in Canton (Guangzhou), Guangdong Province, China, Asia

c. 1879

Hard paste porcelain, lead glaze, enamel and gilded decoration

7/8 x 9 3/4 inches (2.2 x 24.8 cm)

Curatorial Department:
American Art

* Gallery 106, American Art, first floor (McNeil Gallery)

Accession Number:

Credit Line:
Gift of the McNeil Americana Collection, 2006

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Additional information:
  • PublicationAmerican Presidential China: The Robert L. McNeil, Jr., Collection at the Philadelphia Museum of Art

    Ulysses S. Grant (1822-1885)
    President, 1869-77

    Porcelains acquired for the White House during the Grant administration and for the family’s personal use at that time exemplify the continued American preference for French products, and, more specifically, for those of the French-American firm Haviland and Company at Limoges.

    Julia Dent Grant (1826-1902) ordered the service with a “USG” cypher and the popular “Rose Medallion” decoration in 1868 through Captain Daniel Ammen and Olyphant and Company in Hong Kong. Examples are preserved in at least five public collections.

    President and Mrs. Grant probably acquired the so-called Fish Service, plates featuring enamel decoration with a prominent fish, during their Asian travels, undertaken in 1879 after President Grant left office. Susan Gray Detweiler, from American Presidential China: The Robert L. McNeil, Jr. Collection at the Philadelphia Museum of Art (2008), p. 59.

* Works in the collection are moved off view for many different reasons. Although gallery locations on the website are updated regularly, there is no guarantee that this object will be on display on the day of your visit.