19th or Republic Baluster Vase

Started by JjGhandi, Jun 13, 2020, 01:44:21

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Hello everyone,

I bought this nice vase today.
I'm thinking it could be a late 19th century one.

The decoration has worn off quite a bit unfortunately.
The ears of the vase were gilted but that's worn off too
43cm high, 20 cm width.

What are your thoughts?

Thanks in advance.

Kind regards,



More pics


And the butterflies on the backside


This is Qianjiang, not enamel paint, imitating Chinese water color painting, that is why the colors are so light, almost a pastel color, late Qing to 1930 is when Items like this was painted, yours looks late Qing to me.


Hey Stan,

Thanks for your insight!

Isn't Qianjiang always enamel?
For the purpose of imitating the water color paintings?

I can feel the decorations when I touch them.



No matter thin or thick, they were all painted on top of the glaze. The earlier and later Qianjiang decorations were a little different.



Hi JJ, I am not sure if Qianjiang paint is enamel, I always thought that enamel paints were translucent after firing and assumed it was something different, that is a good question for Peter.


Apparently Qianjiang colors are an enamel.


Hi Stan,
I'm not sure if it can be called an enamel. A good explanation is difficult to come by. This is probably because the colours changed over time. The early Qianjiang colors in the late Qing dynasty and those in the late Qing dynasty and early republic, respectively, appear to differ. I do not know what the 'new' Fencai colors, which eventually seem to have replaced most Qianjiang colors were made of.

With the conventional Fencai colors it was necessary to use a so-called 'white glass powder' on the surface of the fired glaze, which was applied in the area where the Fencai colors were to be applied; the powder was also in the colors, thus the content was most likely pigment, water, glass powder. The powder was most likely necessary to make the colors stick. Without any added, the water-based colors would just run down the glaze. Modern colors have a medium that is usually either water, acrylic or oil-based. The latter two might work, but water and pigment alone mixed, without anything else in it will not stick to the glaze. That powder content is probably the main reason that some fencai colors feel thick, but not all do.

The glass powder was not used in Qianjiang colors. It appears that 'some'  Qianjiang colors were painted directly on the porcelain body, while others were over the glaze. Not sure what made them stick, but black and some other colors are easily abraded.
Qianjiang is painted in a style that is reminiscent of classic Chinese paintings on paper, silk, etc.

That is about all information I have as of now. Many Qianjiang porcelain paintings from the earlier period are quite faint, not always due to abrasion, but because the colors used just did not appear as strong after firing, as they would with normal paintings.

I highly suspect that some so-called Qianjiang paintings are a mix of Qianjiang colors and some Fencai, judging by the brightness of some of the colors.


Thanks Peter, great information on Qianjiang painting.