Saucer with dragon and phoenix

Started by Stan, Dec 05, 2020, 03:39:39

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Hi Peter, up for discussion is the saucer plate, it has a Qianlong mark but red marks like this was done in the early republic and later, Im not sure if it could be late Qing, it has some of the late Qing age signs, also note that their are 4 bats and not the usual 5 on earlier pieces, or could this have been redecorated at a later date?.


Here are two more photo's to view, thanks so much.


Late Qing to early republic.
As you know many items attributed to late Qing were actually made afterwards, early in the republic. Workmanship was still about the same, although there were also items that had a more specific period look in the republic.
The four character Qianlong mark more often than not seems to appear in the early republic, though. In the Guangxu reign a four character Kangxi mark would have been more common.
We have no way to know for sure which it is, the workmanship would be about the same whether late Qing or early republic.


Hey Stan,

It doesn't really add up for me.
It seems like a mix of all Guangxu decorations mixed:
Bats, petals, dragon, phoenix,...

It's a known fact that green dragon eyes were introduced during Guangxu.
But this mix of decorations I can't find on any Guangxu wares.
The rim decoration is also strange to me. I can't find any pieces like this.

So I would rule out late Qing. But I don't see this being done on early republic pieces either.
I would even guess a 50's-60's copy in my humble opinion.

Kind regards,



Hi JJ, one thing we can all agree on is this is substandard and the quality would not make it to one of the high auctions, which would make it hard to say from the 60's, we know that their were thousands of kilns making such items trying to keep up with demand, marks like this and age signs were more prevalent in the early republic, but Im not ruling out a later date, you could be right JJ, this is one of though's items you have to wait and see if one comes up with a more precise date.


> Bats, petals, dragon, phoenix,...
Floral decorations in combinations with the others can easily be found. Petals mostly serve as background decoration, bats are often found placed within other decorations for their auspicious meaning. However, the bats are a bit unusual here, not their presence but their shape.
Dragon and phoenix together is one of the earliest decorations. In the Yuan dynasty. the dragon represented the emperor and the phoenix the empress. Not sure if this was still valid later on, but 龍鳳 (dragon & phoenix) decorations are fairly common in the late Qing dynasty. There are also decorations with only phoenixes and no dragons. This type of dragon/phoenix decoration and colors as used in the central decoration of this plate are not a rarity, rather to the contrary. Depending on your books/sources, many such decorations might not be found in books, not to mention in auctions. The reason is  probably because they are considered too common, and some dragon/phoenix decorations may still be found on modern plates, in the Chinese region. Y

In my view, if there seems anything incongruent that would be the type of rim decoration combined with the central one, but both are not impossible in the Guangxu reign. Quality is another matter.
The base clearly shows a bottom that can be late Qing to early republic. Whether or not something was remade is difficult to tell from these pictures. If the enamels on the rim are thick and the dragon/phoenix decoration is thin, then maybe something was added or repainted later.


Hi Peter. here is a photo showing the enamels a little clearer, they are fairly thick, but their is no evidence of over painting.