Hongxian Republic Vase

Started by bokaba, Jun 28, 2017, 09:29:05

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Is this a Hongxian reign (1915-1916), a later Republic, or a modern reproduction? The vase is about 12 inches in height.

Thank you,



Unable to help here, bokaba. Hongxian would be the official mark of the usurper Yuan Shi-kai. As he was in power only for months, it would be impossible that many such items do exist. It is thought that the majority of items with this mark available on the market were made later. The style could well be right, as they show a break with traditional painting styles.
This would require some special research. An item that can proven authentic and with a Hongxian market would be a rarity and would have a higher collectible value. But do not expect this research to be easy. As many of the porcelain items marked Hongxian were apparently presents to foreign emissaries, etc., you should also consider the way this got into your hands. If there is any chance that it came from China or a Chinese in recent years, it is more likely of recent manufacture.

Hopefully, someone reading this post owns or has access to a book describing Hongxian marked porcelain in detail...


Hi Bokaba, in one of my books it shows a bottle vase with a red Hongxian 4 character mark and the mark is borderless, the image was a courtesy from Sotheby's, I had a vase that I purchased about 30 or more years ago with the same red borderless mark, several years ago so called experts from China advertised in the news paper to buy Chinese porcelain, I called them and they came over, there was 4 of them, they made me offers on several things which I turned down because their offers were to low, but then one of them picked up a small vase that was 25.4 cm tall and it had a red borderless Hongxian mark and made me an offer of $800.00 at the time I was thinking this is a small vase and to get $800.00 why not, then later I realized that it could have been authentic after seeing one on Christies that sold for $24,000. with the same mark, I have a bottle vase that is the same size and has a very similar decoration as the one in my book with the Hongxian mark, I believe it is authentic but it was drilled for a lamp otherwise it is in excellent condition and the hole that was drilled left enough of the mark to tell it is a Hongxian mark the same as the one I sold and the same as the bottle vase in my book, I purchased the bottle vase from a collector of Chinese porcelain that was selling his porcelain because of health problems and it was a lamp when I purchased it  at the time all the brass from the lamp was at least 40 or more years old, back then they would not have been trying to fake anything from the Hongxian period as Peter mentioned only lasted from 1915-16 I do not know if the Hongxian marks had borders or not, but the ones I have seen are all hand drawn and very sharp and clear, the vase I had sold had almost light pastel colors and the decoration was Chinese figures and high quality decoration like yours, but on yours the colors are to bold in my opinion, I would think yours is a later copy, please let us know what you find out, It would be good to get a hands on inspection from an expert on early republic porcelain.


Hi Stan,

Thank you for your insight. I was able to locate "Hongxian" marks on a number of pieces of porcelain on from Christie's and Sotheby's (we shouldn't rely on auction valuations). The only only piece advertised as mark and period had a hand-written mark with no border as you indicated:


There were numerous other examples without borders, with the "clipped" edge borders, and Zhuanti script. All of these were advertised as merely "Republic" period. Since Hongxian pieces seem to be quite valuable, there is also probably a market for fakes.




I think the vase I posted, stylistically, is too big a departure from the earliest Republic works to be mark and period. I think it is probably late Republic (1940s maybe).



Thanks Bokaba, the flower vase looks very similar to mine, minus the hole in mine.