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The Paca China Collection

The Paca China Collection at Wright's Chance in Centreville is a comprehensive set of more than 300 pieces of Canton china.  The china was given in two donations, the first from Mrs. McKenney, who acquired it from the Wye Plantation & the second gift was given by the Wright Family.  

Canton porcelain was the only hard porcelain available to early Americans until the mid-1800s, and it is estimated that over 2.5 million pieces were exported from 1784-1850.  The use of the term “Canton” can thus refer to all porcelain passing through the port of Canton, but it now specifically refers to the special pattern we know as Canton.

There are several distinct periods of Canton decoration for the American market.  Beginning with the first period of 1784-1810, the finest decorated Canton was produced. The blue cobalt color, beautifully molded forms and finely developed motifs in the pattern were at their height.  

Here is a quote we found on page 195 in a 1892 copyrighted book, China Collecting in America, by Alice Morse Earle: "the every-day china, the common table-ware, of all these good American citizens and patriots--Knox, Hancock, Paul Revere, the Otises, Quincys, and a score that might be named--the plates and dishes of china from which they ate their daily bread, were not of Lowestoft, but of honest old blue Canton."

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