Plate with Crab decorations-Japanese

Started by Lee Seng Kong, Jul 05, 2017, 18:11:08

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Lee Seng Kong

Attached are photos of the subject matter.

Any advice is most appreciated.


Is this a small plate, I could not find the mark in my books, perhaps a studio mark, with the high shine on the surface and no stilt marks leads me to think 20th century, plus the close up of the decoration looks like there is no rust spots in the blue color, the mark and the design look Japanese to me.


Is it Japanese? While the Japanese loved painting crabs, etc. the painting style seems not to be very common, in my view. What is puzzling is the foot rim and mark. The foot rim looks like one from Dehua kiln, but Japanese indeed do have such rims. Incidentally the mark (possibly ??) looks like a typical Dehua mark too. Perhaps this is coincidence. However, I also think this is more likely 20th century.

Lee Seng Kong


Actually I intended to put a question marks against the word Japanese, as I thought the mark look Japanese.

I am not surprise that it is likely to be  20th Century the color looks very purplish blue.....but I was intrigued by the mark.

The dia. is 24.5 cm

Attached is a close-up of rust larger spot to the east (on the double band) and 2 smaller ones at north-west.

Stan.....would stilt marks indicate that it is Japanese?


Dehua and Japanese plates often have similar hand-written two character marks. Only that the Japanese usually are a name, but Dehua's not necessarily.


Hi Lee Seng Kong, yes, if it had stilt marks that would have been a definite Japanese item, but Peter did mention that the Chinese used them as well, I am not the familiar with the Chinese uses of them, but the Japanese seemed to use stilts 18th and 19th centuries, Im not sure about the earlier periods, I do have two Chinese dishes with reticulated sides, I thought they were Japanese but then I was browsing through the Gallery of porcelain that peter has on this site and found an identical blue and white porcelainl dish with the same stilt marks, I have been meaning to ask Peter about it, the one shown is called a Shuixian, I will post the ones I have, I would like to know more about them.


The rust spots may be firing errors and old glaze contractions. I have a few Meiji period pieces that have similar spotting from errors. The Metropolitan Museum's "How to Read Chinese Ceramics" says that the Japanese appreciate firing errors, known as Mishikui (???) or "moth/worm eaten." This is a Chinese export dish (late Ming, Tianqi Period) for the Japanese market in the shape of Mt. Fuji showing such firing errors. The rust spots in this case may not be a sign of great age if caused by firing errors in my opinion.



Hi Stan, on Japanese porcelain stilt mark appear on plates, inside the foot rim. I do not know why, because their foot rim often is unglazed. It would be another matter if it were glazed. So why did they not used the foot rim?
Chinese plates virtually never have stilt marks. They either stand on the rim during the firing process, or the stand on a ring-shaped firing support positioned inside the foot rim. That means the later ceramics, probably from the Song dynasty and later. And those stilts are tiny, either circular or the shape  and size of sesame seed. I know large ones a only from much earlier items.
Flat items without foot rim are sometimes fired on these small stilts, but not plates, usually.


Thanks Peter, for the good information on the usage of stilt marks, I have some early Awaji porcelain brush pots with stilt marks on the bottom and inside where they fired something inside the pot, the bottom is completely glazed and three stilt marks.
Thanks Bokaba for the photo of the chinese export to Japan, note the the loss of glaze on the top rim in certain areas and the low shine, this is typical on old porcelain, esp, Ming.