This scene of the Canton waterfront showing the foreign factories flying their respective flags became fashionable on porcelain from about 1765, first in two static scenes. Continuous views like we see on this example seem to date from about 1780. Kee Il Choi has written of the conundrum of the Chinese artist who needed to transfer an essentially rectangular landscape image onto a circular bowl, pointing out that one solution, as we see here, was to insert the Dutch folly fort in the water at the start and finish of the waterfront. See D.S. Howard, A Tale of Three Cities, p. 51, for a similar bowl, with less complex border.