Place: City of Canton (now Guangzhou), China
[click on map for larger view]
Mr. Yi, a Chinese porcelain merchant, and Mr. Peters,
an English merchant, meet at the British East India
Company offices to look at porcelains manufactured
by the Jingdezhen Ceramic Works.
Mr. Yi: It
is an honor to show you the porcelain manufactured
by the Jingdezhen Ceramic Works. We think you'll
be very interested in what you see. We can fill
any order, great or small, for your merchants at
home in England. We can even paint them with the
decorations your people want the most. Why, just
a few years ago, we helped fill an order from the
imperial palace for nearly 175,000 pieces of porcelain.
How is this possible?
Mr. Yi: We
have special techniques that allow us to make many
plates, tea cups, saucers, vases, bowls, and pots
in one day, almost all of them of the finest quality.
There are many steps in making a simple ceramic
bowl, for example, and the people who make them
each have special jobs. As many as 70 people may
have helped produce the tea caddies
you see here, from mining the clay, shaping them,
firing them, painting them, and packing them for
shipping [click on image for larger view].