Canton porcelain refers to the style of ceramic good produced and decorated in Guangzhou (now Canton), the capital of Guangdong in southern China. Canton used to be the only legal port goods could be exported from China to Europe, proving to be a center of trade and commerce, as well as manufacturing. During the 19th century, Canton stylized porcelain began to rise, proving to be a huge portion of exported goods to Europe. Looking specifically at garden seats, similar to the seat on display in 40 at 40: Celebrating 40 Years, it is interesting to note the multitude of seats produced and exported throughout the late 18th and 19th centuries. These seats became largely desired, as their intricate panels proved exquisite artist ability and Canton style.
This garden seat has eight panels, four of which are depicting a scholar-official completing both royal and domestic duties. On the other four panels, the seat is adorned in floral and fauna, conveying the intricate porcelain work so stylized by the Cantonese. In creating this patterned hexagonal seat, the overall appearance portrays both aesthetic and symbolic artistic renderings of important things to Cantonese life.