Platter Maker: Unknown

ca. 1795

American Decorative Arts

On view, 1st floor, American Decorative Arts before 1900

John Brown, the legendary Providence, Rhode Island, merchant, is known to have owned two sets of Chinese export porcelain. One set arrived on the ship the George Washington in 1789 and was described as "best blue china for Dining Table" and "Tea Service China every piece with the sypher JB." Six years later, a second "sett of the better sort" arrived on the first voyage of another George Washington, the third ship that John Brown named for his friend. This platter is from this second set, and its style with urn and swags is like the wares that were being produced by the Bristol and New Hall porcelain manufacturies in England. Brown's mansion in Providence was one of the most lavish in the city, and this porcelain would have complemented the house and its sumptuous interiors.


Porcelain with underglaze and gilded decoration


1 5/8 × 20 × 16 5/8 in. (4.128 × 50.8 × 42.228 cm)

Credit Line

Partial gift in memory of Frances Smyth and Gaillard Ravenel and Friends of American Arts Acquisition Fund

Accession Number



18th century


Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of records is ongoing.



John Brown, Providence, Rhode Island, 1795, by descent to Westcote Cheseborough, Providence, Rhode Island; 1974 sale of his estate by Gustave White Auction, Newport, Rhode Island; by sale to David Garland, Falmouth, Massachusetts; by sale to Gaillard Ravenel and Frances Smyth, Washington, D.C.; by inheritance to Wendy A. Cooper, Greenville, Delaware
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