Jianwen fakes

Started by Isaac1998, Nov 19, 2019, 18:40:28

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Hi all,

I picked this up today- after haggling- for around 50 dollars. Not a huge sum so I figured why not. I supposed that- due to showing some convincing signs of age- it might be republican or a little earlier, however once I got home and did a bit of googling, it appears there are hundreds of similar items flooded onto Ebay and similar sites- even, in some cases, legitimate auction houses.

I won't send links as this is a breach of forum rules, but just pop into Google images 'Jianwen red and white' and you'll see what I'm talking about. All of these pieces seem to be made in exactly the same way and style as mine, but appear brand new. I now wonder whether mine is just a couple of decades old and very worn.

What do you think?

High resolution pictures in Google Drive link below:



It is possible to make a new item look hundreds of years old, but experienced collectors do not necessarily fall for this.
Probably it is not necessary to go into details, but the Jianwen reign did not exist, or rather was removed from the annals by emperor Yongzheng who deposed him after only four years. Too short to appear in porcelain history. In other words anything having a Jianwen mark is a fake.


Peter, thanks for the quick reply. I'm baffled that the penny never dropped sooner for me re Jianwen reign marks- having known how short his reign was and never seen any pieces in museums or auctions- feeling rather silly now !

I'd be interested in knowing when these fakes started cropping up. Though the one I have appears a little old, do you agree with me that it's probably 21st century?



I would like to point out that a 6 character mark would not have been written like this on the bottom, it would have been written with a 6 character mark of 3 marks side by side centered, the way it is written should have been written at the top near the rim in my opinion.


It is not possible to tell for sure when an item was made if it was made to look old, but modern faking started some 30 years ago. That is the time when the Chinese began to get aware that it is possible to make money from those "old things". Many early visitors of China from the eighties report that some antiques could be had for a dollar or even cents before that.

Some short reigns may still have marks, perhaps made after the reign ended, but in this specific case the uncle of Jianwen intentionally seems to have obliterated any knowledge of Jianwen. The real problem is that the early reigns of the Ming dynasty, Hongwu and Yongle virtually had no respectively only a handful authentic marks. so it would be even suspicious with those reigns if an item is marked. More frequent marking started only in the following Xuande reign.


Thanks for the helpful answers all!