Grey glazed plate

Started by bluebird26, May 04, 2022, 14:25:44

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Hello, this is a 26 cm wide plate, do you have a clue of where it was made and around wich era?
it is light and have a clear sound. The sand grit is like on swatow ware.
Thank you.


While the plate itself looks old, I'm suspicious about the kiln grit. Basically, the shape looks as if it could be a Longquan plate, but these do not usually have grit. And, they are relatively thick, perhaps about half a centimeter. Not thin and light I would say.

You could try if it is possible to pry off some of the grit with a piece of wood, taking care not to damage the plate, of course. Another thing I would try is if the "glaze" can be dissolved with some acetone or another solvent. If any grit comes off, then this was added later.
Apart from the Zhangzhou (Swatow) wares you mention, Chinese ceramics almost never have such grit on the bottom. The reason for the kiln grit with the Zhangzhou wares is that these stood on grit during firing, but how comes it is above the foot rim and little adhering to the sides when the plate stood on its bottom during the firing process? Also, the grains should be embedded in the vitreous glaze and be non-removable.
What makes it even more suspicious is that it is also adhering to the area above the foot rim. Looks as if the plate was upside down when the grit got stuck.

The plate itself might be about Ming...


Hi Peter,

I am more confident that the plate was produced in Zhangzhou kiln.

The grit is merged in the glaze.
I am learning and what I understand is that the swatow plates where placed on top of a layer of sand in a saggar during the firing. The sand was there to prevent the plate to stick to the saggar in case of wrapping and that's the reason why swatow plates often have some patches of sand on the outer wall.
I found out that they were some monochrome plate produced there, and a photo of a plate that looks very much like mine.

Thank you for your kind attention.


The color of the latter is similar to Longquan, but you are right with that it probably is Zhangzhou ware, because Longquan does not have this type of central decoration, as far as I know.

However, I believe you may not be clear what I'm trying to indicate with the grit looking unnatural. We know that Zhangzhou wares had grit adhering because they were fired on it. Here, the strange thing is the grit on the underside of the plate, near the foot. How comes it adheres just beside the foot but not on the foot itself? If it was standing on grit it would be at the lowest point, which means the bottom, the foot rim where grit adheres, and if there is any more it would be from bottom up. But here is nothing on the side of the foot and then there is some on the underside of the plate. I wouldn't expect it to jump  up there during the firing. Thus the tests I suggested would clarify whether it was there before the firing--if it is firmly embedded in the vitreous glaze, or added later, if it is not glaze but just some hardened lacquer or other medium (if it was removable).

I don't think the plate is fake, but sometimes one encounters strange things.
Color glazes don't normally require another transparent, vitreous glaze on top of the color glaze (here it is gray), so that there is a transparent glaze spilled on an unglazed bottom itself is a bit odd. With the blue/white wares it would usually be different because these DO have a transparent glaze.
Believe me, adding fake grit does happen. They even sell the grit online, in China.


Here is the image of a celadon plate not from Zhangzhou, but this is earlier than yours. It has not the least kiln grit. The grit was not at all common in other kilns. And, this is to illustrate that there is basically no reason to apply a transparent glaze.


Thank you for the picture, that charger is very beautifull.

I understand that the sand shouldn't adhere to the part that is unglazed.
Could it be that before firing the bowl, they wipped out the thick glaze that had drip on the bottom rim, the cloth leaving some stain to the bottom where the sand can stick?


That could be an explanation, but only for that part, in my view. Maybe there is a good explanation for the grit on the glaze of the underside too.
But the simple test suggested earlier with some acetone or other solvent that softens glue/lacquer could remove that possibility. A solvent should not affect a fired glaze as it is vitrified. If it does, then it is not glaze.