Any helpful indicators to look at for Chinese vase antique? (Qianlong period)

Started by guidanceprimary, Oct 16, 2020, 00:46:14

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I was wondering if anyone with general knowledge of Chinese antiques could impart some of their expertise in helping me determine whether a vase I have is real or not. I have spent some time browsing this website and it's very useful resources and am glad I did as I was able to learn a lot about this fascinating subject. I am 90% sure it is an imitation just because of the circumstances of how I acquired it and the condition (way too new) but would like to be 100% sure. There is no way an antique would be in as good condition as my piece (image below) right? Are imitations allowed to put stamps/marks on their pieces? Or would the difference between an imitation and a fake be that imitations don't put marks on their pieces because then it looks as if they are trying to pass it off as genuine?

I enjoy fine art and love collecting it on a budget. I used to be a frequent customer of a local auction house in United States as the owner always had great deals. One day I was in there and on my way out he told me to pick up any one antique for free to take home with me as I was a loyal customer and he had no room as it is for all his new items. So I ended up going with this Chinese vase as I loved the design and colors. It sat in my home for about 10 years and I just now started taking inventory of all the things I own and realized I had no idea how to appraise the value of this piece.

I have identified the stamp on the bottom and have matched it to the Qianlong period.

It looks 99% like these marks save for a couple very minor differences I chalk up to different handwriting.

Example 1:

Example 2:

Would anyone be able to provide me with any insight in how to know if it is in fact genuine?

Full Size Resolution Images of my antique: 

I really appreciate the help!


The Shape and decoration looks new and the foot looks like dirt was added to make it look older.


Thank you for your response. Would you be able to provide a bit more insight into why you say that? I guess I am just trying to learn for myself what the indicators are to look for.

Were these elaborate floral designs not as common back then?
Were vases less obtuse towards the top?


I believe the shape is called Meiping, and on Antique ones that I have seen and had do not have such a bulbous shape proportion to the base, and the foot looks like the ones you see on fakes.


Not sure what the example links are for? There is nothing similar to this vase there.

The 'shoulders' of this vase are too strong, they should have a more rounded shape.
Basically, if this was Qing dynasty, with this type of decoration, it would have to be imperial ware, possibly a 'falangcei' enamel decoration. But in this case the foot rim should have what we call a 'worm back', that is it is rounded. Here the foot rim was cut as it would be with a private kiln. But in the Qianlong reign such a decoration would have unlikely been made by a private kiln.
On the other hand, today it is possible to fake imperial wares to a high degree.
Therefore it is unlikely an authentic piece.

To get a more reliable answer you would have to find someone nearby who can do a hands-on inspection with glaze magnification, etc. However, as you said, the auctioneer already thought it was not authentic?!

Basically the shape and foot rim are off, so it is more likely a late 20th century item.

This page (National Palace Museum, Taipei) shows how this decoration is made. You will see that it is not too different from your vase, meaning these things can and are still being made today.


Thank you for the response. The examples were for the mark/stamp as they matched. That's an interesting insight you provided about the style of the foot not aligning with the time period. Are imitations allowed to put marks on their pieces or is that considered a disingenuous attempt to pass it off and therefore not allowed?

I would assume the auctioneer wouldn't let someone walk out with an antique vase but the reason I liked his store is he had an infinite amount of things in there to where it was difficult to walk around without knocking into something so I have no idea how robust his inventory discipline is.


Please note that you cannot use marks the way you would with Western or Japanese porcelain. There is a section explaining the marks problem in the main site. And anyway, if they can fake the item they also can fake the mark...  :)