A song type rope pot

Started by heavenguy, Mar 05, 2018, 08:52:59

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I have this bowl and i know for sure is not made after the 70s. but still i have my doubts on the age. I know its some type of song glaze but i really doubt is that old. Anyways, I'm learning to use the microscope I bought online. It really changes your game completely. Here is a few shots of the pot and the last pic is a collection using the microscope.


there is different types of bubbles. At first i thought the black dots were like iron that they like to add to fakes, but its actually bubbles. Anyways. any ideas?


Did you take the bubble pictures yourself? Good shots.  These dark bubbles are called "dead" bubbles by the Chinese. They claim that there should be an age of at least several hundred years if such dark bubbles are present. I will take the liberty to show these item pictures to someone knowing more about the more ancient items, next week. I have never seen such a rope decoration, but he might.


Thank you Peterp. That will be wonderful. Also thank you for the recommendation of the microscope. It was very accessible and very easy to use. You can inspect the item in real time just just by passing the microscope over the piece. I started checking most of my collection right away and it seems that the bubbles start to get bigger the earlier the piece. This microscope is really a game changer.


Hi Heavenguy, what dose it look like, I was at an antique show a while back and I saw someone using what looked like a microscope but I was not sure.


Hi Stan,

I'm going to put the name of the one i bought, but I'm not really sure if I can. delete the message the name if I violate any rule. It is very cheap only $23 bucks and i got it like in 5 days. I always wonder how the Chinese can make things for cheap, use a 3 day UPS shipping service and still make profit. When I tried to do that they charge me like $20 bucks for a 2 state shipping. Anyways, the name is:

"Jiusion 40 to 1000x Magnification Endoscope"

Hope this help.


Stan, it is a longish black tube with base and a USB cable. You just plug it into you computer as peripheral to use the screen as viewer. They seem to be making them now also for cell phones, and in China they apparently sell something that looks like a digital camera, with the microscope instead of the camera lens, at a higher price. You will find them offered on Ebay.


Thank you Peter and Heavenguy, I think I will get one.


Compare prices first, before ordering. There is a big difference although these items probably are made at the same places.


Hi, I was only yesterday able to meet the person who knows more about this type of items. He said that such items did exist, I think in or about the Tang dynasty. But he did come to the same conclusion regarding the bottom. It would not be right.

This glaze would not be from such a distant time, perhaps Ming or Qing dynasty at the most, but the problem with the bottom remains. It does not look right for a Chinese item.

Summarizing the whole, the enlarged glaze shows bubbles which undeniably mean the item is old, but a bottom type that basically did not exist in ancient China, a glaze that would be more likely Ming or later, and a rope decoration that would fit if the item was much older than Song, perhaps.

I do not know what this means...perhaps made elsewhere, but old.


HI Peterp,

Thank you so much for taking the time to help me understand and identify this object. Also thank you very much for asking your friend and if possible send him my regards.

I have read and read about bubble identification and as you say, there is no doubt that this jar is old. The problem is how old and from where. I kind of did my own research and found out the different elements of this vase and relate them to different periods. Like you said, they all point to different periods so it doesn't make any sense. My best guess putting all this elements together is that this jar could be late Yuan dynasty.

The first element is that in the yuan and southern song, it was kind of common to see this type of dead bubbles.

The second element is the glaze. Like you said the glaze is really common in Qing and ming dynasty. But Also, I read that some of this glazes started to be developed in the late Yuan giving a small chance to be Yuan.

The third element is the raised decoration. I was looking or researching this decoration as a rope, but most of the time is like you friend mentioned it all pointed out to before Song. It was a decoration common in tomb objects before song. I found one in a jar in a museum from the jin with similar raised decoration.

It wasn't until I started looking for raised decoration I found a website of a person who sells a yuan jar with an identical raised decoration in shape of a rope. She mentions that it's called beads of applied 'pearls of beads'. She reference a book "yuan and Ming Blue and White from Jiangxi, plate 8". Unfortunely that book is really expensive, so I cannot confirm this. Fortunely I found a similar Yuan piece in the Portland Museum. SO a quick search on "Blue-and-White Jarlet with Beaded Decoration and Two Ring Handles" give you the link to it. SO that is another point for Yuan.

The last element is the bottom. 4 days ago a was doing a search and found a very similar foot in Christies. But for the life of my I cannot find it anymore. It was reference as a Yuan. I know I cannot trust this type of auction houses completely but still, that may help suggest an age to wear to look for.

I was also thinking that it could be from another country but never found something similar on the shape, decoration, glaze, or foot.

I'm going to keep researching this as much as I can. I have learned so much just by researching this. I kind of forced me to read stuff I  consider boring to read but I kind of find it interesting now. Lol.

Thank you very much for helping me on this.


Hi, first the shape and base and material must always be right, before the decoration can be taken into consideration. Here the shape seems okay, but the foot shape and material is not. The clay material of the clay is visible on unglazed parts of an item, most often only the base.
If you find similar items, the base or foot rim must conform. This one does not have one of the unique features a Yuan dynasty foot rim. And the color of the unglazed, fired clay does not resemble anything I know from at least Song and later. You will have to find the kiln which made it. It might be Chinese, if it is from a less known kiln. When we speak of specific shapes, we usually talk about those of mainstream kilns. So, any of the major kilns of the Yuan dynasty or Jingdezhen may be unlikely.


I just encountered a similar clay on an item picture that appears to be from the Yuan dynasty. The clay of the bottom was not right. On further inspection it seems that the bottom was covered with a secondary layer of clay or whitish plaster.

Maybe the explanation for the base of yours is similar. You could try clearing the dirt from a small part of the foot rim and adjoining area to check if there is a line between them. In the pictures below it looks as if the rim is only slightly higher than the area within the foot, and there is no corner where foot rim and base area meet. Is that right?
How does the interior of the pot look, and how large is it? Is it possible that another bottom was attached, judging by the traces inside? Or is it possible that a damaged bottom covered with some other material to allow continuing use of the item?


Hi Peter,

I was looking at Qingbai vases and it seems to be closer to that type of wares. Was reading that they were most commonly exported to Japan and Indonesia. Decoration seems about right, and foot rim, it seems they had like tons of different ones, maybe for different markets?

Anyways, I kind of draw the foot rim and bottom to show an idea on how the look. The inside looks like it has the same type of material as the outside. What catches my attention is that the middle inside the jar is not as dirty as the rest of the bowl and you can actually feel a little bump indicating that the part on the middle follows the path of the foot rim, but not to deep.

I draw the foot rim and even if it is very small, it does have a line between the foot and the base of the foot. The blue lines I added to the drawing are like the lines or cuts they did to shape the foot. as you can see, even if very small it does has a small curved line dividing the foot from the bottom foot. The foot rim bottom is really flat. I don't feel any bumps or anything, it seems like a very clean cut.

When is more daylight I'll try to take better pictures of the inside and foot.