2 Plates

Started by bokaba, Jun 29, 2017, 14:21:55

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I was wondering if anyone had any information on these two plates. Both are about 10 inches in diameter. The first appears to an 18th Century export, perhaps mid Qianlong (c. 1760s-1780s) and has serious condition issues. The second has a red Tongzhi mark and appears to be of the period or a little later. Is this dating correct?

Thank you,


Plate 1



Yes. I would say Tongzhi/Guangxu because we can never be quite sure with that mark. Some items may have a Tongzhi mark although they were made early in the Guangxu reign. It was common that at the beginning of the following reign the mark of the previous one was used initially, it seems.
BTW, the shape of the bat on the back can be an indication of the period.

Lee Seng Kong

Hi Bokaba,

Since I have a few similar plates (of two different sizes)  with flowers and insects, I hope you don't mind I piggy back on your post to find some answers from this forum.

I hope the administrators of this forum do not mind too as a pictorial comparison on how to differentiate one from another should be quite useful.......at least, it will be useful for me to learn.

One thing is for sure, I have not been able to identify the mark on my plate...so far.

Lee Seng Kong

Hi Peter,

The bat on my plate appears to be fatter.....I do not have a close-up of the bat in my lap-top right now.....I can take a photo later if it helps.


Also late Qing.
The bats very late in the Qing dynasty often had the appearance of a "W" with two dots as eyes; they were not connected to the body. There are exceptions, though.


Thanks for your help Peter. What were your thoughts on the first Mandarin export plate?

Lee Seng Kong

Thanks Peter,

Bokaba is able to identify the mark on his plate  as Tongzi........I am not able to on mine....although I compared..........what mark is it.

Sorry to trouble you.


It says "guanyao neizao', or made at the official kiln. But this mark was used by private kilns towards the end of the Qing dynasty. It is not considered imperial ware.

Lee Seng Kong

Thanks Peter for the translation....I will put into my records.

I do keep record of  pictures of marks, but some in find it hard to figure out.....but then of course, I do not have all the photos of marks.

Totally agree that Imperial ware had  never reach our shores.


The first plate looks like it is Qianlong pereiod.

Lee Seng Kong

Hi Peter,

Attached is a photo depicting your description of the bats:-

The left photos is the drawing of the bat with 2 eyes....befitting your description below:-

"bats...had the appearance of a "W" with two dots as eyes; they were not connected to the body. There are exceptions, though."

.........on the right photo is .....bat without "dotted" eyes.....so this could be the exception.

I have 3 plates of 13.5 cm dia. on which the bats were dotted with 2 eyes.......but curiously, another larger plate of dia. 17.5 dia. do not have dotted eyes?.as shown

Moreover, the decoration are not all the same for the 4 plates as depicted in the 2nd photo.

From what I can see, the bats on Bokaba's plate is much more finely drawn "W"....those on my plates were drawing in "blotches"

Leading me to think .........

From your statement....."It says "guanyao neizao', or made at the official kiln. But this mark was used by private kilns towards the end of the Qing dynasty. It is not considered imperial ware."

......... that they may not be genuine from the  end of Qing dynasty.

Can you kindly clarify.


Yes, the left one is a good example of what I was talking about. This is just a guideline, not a rigid rule for dating. Better painted bats do occur even in the late 19th century, but you are unlikely to find those painted like a "'w' plus dots" in the early 19th century.

You are still too much centered on marks. I recommend reading the section about marks in the main site.
>......... that they may not be genuine from the  end of Qing dynasty.

That is not what I said. The Neifu and Guanyao Neizao marks both were used by private kilns during the late Qing dynasty. They were probably not in use earlier, or their use was restricted because of their meaning, connecting them to the official kiln.

Lee Seng Kong

Hi Peter.......thank you for your time.

For some antiques which I am not able to x-reference, the only thing I try is to make some sense of the mark (in my case ...just compare with other marks down-loaded from Internet).

I have noted several instance where you have adviced that  marks can be spurious and apocryphal .....I have also noted the different  description by you, Stan plus others......and frankly, I did learn some, but definitely no sufficient to be confident to identify by myself its age etc etc.especially when reference is made to to Chinese  marks,  writing, art of drawing etc etc

My purpose of proper identification is because......since I have free time now ( retired), I am spending some of my free time to catalog my collection of around  40 years.

Most of the items which I have posted in this forum so far, are mainly those that I have difficulty to find corresponding reference, so, I post them  this forum to seek expert advice and clarification.

For others which I have done sufficient research, gathered enough local expert advice for identification I wiil not post as there are too many.

I do persevere to get my items identified correctly  so that when I catalog my collection, I can be confident that whatever I write to describe the item, I can do so by providing supporting evidence......in short for example, if any item in my collection is fake...I  will labelled it fake....if genuine.....i label it as genuine....all with references etc etc .

And, of course, I am not writing a book,...it is just a catalog to pass on to my children.....so I do not intend to fool my children for obvious reason.

Actually, on  some of my trips up-river to collect antiques, my wife came along too....so couple to the catalog, I have photos of our journey into the inlands  etc etc....forming some records of my life-style.

But I must add, my children do not show much interest in antiques, so, eventually, something else may have to be done with them


Just curious... When you say upriver, do you mean in Sabah or Kalimantan?