Newbie - Info and Date of vases? pt1

Started by rodd, May 28, 2020, 23:32:25

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Hi All,

I am new to Chinese ceramics, my in laws died last year in there 90's and had a lovely house full of interesting Early American and English antiques. Sprinkled here and there in their Los Angeles home they had a variety of ceramics including some Chinese pieces. I am hoping that you can shed a light on some of these things. I'm hoping it might be a fun journey.

I'll start with this pair of vases. Not because I think they are the most important, but because I happen to have them close by to photograph. The mark only exists on one of the mirrored pieces.

They are a mirrored pair 23cm tall, 12cm wide

Any information would be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance.





Hi Rod,

I'm a very novice enthousiast as well so I can give little information.

Here's what I think (please correct me if I'm wrong):

The mark on the base seems to be a Wanli mark.
This could be apogryphal. This means that a they used a mark of an earlier reign on the ceramic.
That doesn't mean it's a fake, it's common in the Chinese culture.
It could be of the period as well, I can't give you that information.

It looks like the mark had been overpainted.
When Blue pigment was applied before firing it was black.
Because of the firing the black pigment turns blue.
That's why I think that the mark has been painted on, fired and it didn't really turn out well.
Then they overpainted the mark again but without firing. Which results in both blue and black being present on the mark.

That's all I could come up with.
If this information is wrong, again, please correct me.

There are several experts on this forum who could sureley tell you much more.

Happy collecting.



This is painted in wucai style. The vase looks old, but the Ming Wanli mark shown might be apocryphal. However I disagree that the dark blue color of parts of the mark has anything to do with it, or the firing. That is quite normal. The darker color means usually denser pigment or more iron oxide contained in the pigment.
The faces makes it appear to be more likely from Qing dynasty, in my view. The shape of the base also points to Qing rather than Ming.


Thank you both so much for your insight. I think I should buy the ebook to educate myself a bit more. I find it all very interesting and confusing at the same time. I'll look forward to any other input on the few other things they had in their house.

Thanks Again!