Pair of Republic Vases

Started by tipton444, Nov 24, 2020, 03:42:31

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Hello again,

I'm getting ready to do a large Asian auction and I'd love to learn a little more about some of the pieces I have.  I'm not trying to look for any kind of appraisal pre-sale, just interested in learning more while I have them.  I thought these Republic vases were pretty remarkable... I don't seem to see too many in this shape, the painting is very good, and the reign mark is gilded.  Can anyone recognize or translate the Chinese characters, or poem, on the back?  What about the signatures or seals?  Does the gilding of the reign mark have any extra significance?  Have you seen a lot of other examples with this?  If you look closely, these vases are not the same shape, one is wider and bulging more than the other, so the potting of each is different...I'm guessing that has an effect on the value, but is it a huge deal to Chinese buyers? 

Any other helpful information would be greatly appreciated.  Thank you Peter and Stan for letting me post some of my items here. 


Pics of bottom.  I did have to re-size the pictures to fit the forum, so the quality of the pictures is a bit off, but they look remarkable and crisp in person. 


There seems to be nothing relevant to the age or maker of the vases in the text.
Basically, pairs are never completely equal unless a mold and printing was used. Still, the age of this is difficult to evaluate. If with 'republic' period you mean what is used in China, then no, this is probably much later. See Chinese calendar and year notation for differences in this respect.

Basically, items with this type of black decoration along the rim are all 1940-50s or later. The decoration did hardly exist before that. Then, the lack of any age and usage signs, especially on gilt and black colors, which are especially vulnerable to abrasion through handling, it can probably be assumed that it is not older than mid-20th century. My personal view.

Also, please do not over-estimate hand-painting of Chinese crafts. Many work processes are still being done by hand even today. Unlike in the West, this does not relate to age, mean that an item has a higher value, or that an item is an antique because of that.


Thanks Peter.  I didn't know that about the black decoration along the rim being from the 40's onward, so that is very helpful and makes a lot of sense.  Too bad the text doesn't really explain more about these vases.  I was hoping they were mid to late Republic Period, but if they are late then they would only be in the last few years, but most likely just after correct?  If they are around mid-century, I'm happy with that, it's not too far off from what I thought, and I just liked them anyway.  I obviously need to learn more about the differences with the Chinese calendar and year notations though as you can see, thanks for pointing that out.  I certainly don't over-estimate hand painted items, but thanks for the re-affirmation! 

Peter, as a side note, are there any certain books on Chinese porcelain that you would highly recommend?  I seem to have trouble finding really informative books, and the good ones are all incredibly expensive.  I might invest in a good one but not sure which yet. 


Unfortunately, most of those I use are in Chinese. What I have in English is about shipwreck porcelain and Peranakan porcelain (export to Singapore, etc.), plus an older one about late MIng (Kraak) porcelain. That's about it.
Perhaps you could ask this in the Water Cooler board and we can put this as a permanent sticky topic, so that others can recommend?

BTW, what makes the books expensive is the color photographs, mostly. That is probably also the reason that some books of the eighties are in part using black and white pictures. Printing color photos is really expensive.