Started by konniela, Mar 25, 2022, 05:02:01

Previous topic - Next topic

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.


Hello to everybody here, especially Peter and Stan. It's been a while, that I was here, so I am happy to see, everything is good here in these crazy times. And with what she comes back ? Yes, with boring rice grain. But have a look.


More photos


Hi Konniela, nice plate, looks to me to be early 20th or late Guangxu, it would be nice to see a picture of the whole bottom, it could be later to, lets see what Peter thinks, Ive never seen one marked on the front like this very interesting.


This item is somewhat difficult to date. There is something odd about this.

The foot rim has a shape that we could expect from the Kangxi to Qianlong/Jiaqing reigns. It even has kiln grit adhering, which would be unlikely in the late Qing dynasty or republic period.
The mark is off center and has a slightly deviating trait in a stroke of the second character, which could mean that it is not from the Guangxu reign.

The rice grain pattern became popular in the late 18th century, if I remember right. The rim decoration of yours looks like some older ones, so more likely 19th century.

This "rice grain" pattern is often seen nowadays, as it is still being made. Those I have seen from the late Qing dynasty are often more like the modern ones, more simple decoration and mostly tea wares. Because of this I believe there is a good chance that this is from earlier in the 19th century, judging by the decoration and foot rim alone.

Now, if there is a Guangxu mark we usually would assume that the item must be of that period or later. I would try with a needle or a very sharp blade if the mark can easily be scratched away. If yes, it might be that it was added much later. (Why someone would want to add a mark of a later period is beyond me, however. Not knowing any earlier items of this pattern might be a reason. There weren't that many such items as nowadays, in the 19th century, probably.

The other possibility is more unlikely...namely someone took an old plate with a 18th century foot rim and painted it in the Guangxu reign. I'm aware that some such foot rims were made in the late Qing dynasty, but I doubt that any have kiln grit on them. The last kiln grit I know off on Chinese porcelain would be about Qianlong reign.

Now to the decoration details -- the characters inside are a word play "Yi Lu Lian Sheng", which has the auspicious meaning of climbing the official rank ladder smoothly. But the same reading of Yi Lu means 'one heron' and 'Lian' means Lotus. See the single heron and the lotus in the water...?

The decoration style looks as if it might be from Lilong kiln.


Hi Peter, I thought the sand might be a problem for late Qing but I wasn't sure, I have a set of nine plates with the rice grain, and 18th century bottoms with sand grit on the bottoms, I will post them on another post.


Not much time today, so sorry for late reaction. There are not much infomations at all to rice grain porcelain in books or online. I found a very similar plate,  should be described as guangxu mark and period in the book Allen`s introduction to later chinese porcelain. I don`t have this book, may be someone else here. I have made screenshots, but I don`t know, if I am allow to post them here. I am not able to scratch the mark, I really tried. One more photo from the whole bottom, the mark seems to be centered.


The decoration underneath the rim cannot be early 19th century, that might have been added later. Such decorations were made in the late Guangxu reign and republic period. It may have been added later and then a low-temperature firing was used to fix it.

I'm afraid that is the only reasonable explanation I can find for the discrepancy. A foot rim with grit is too difficult to explain as late as the Guangxu reign. Grit is related to the firing environment inside the kiln, and that should not be using any grit in the 19th century onwards.
We will have to leave this dating open, I'm afraid.


Hello everyone!

I have no problem dating this to Guanxu.
I don't know why you state that kiln grit is atypical for the 19th century?

For me it's a giveaway. Kiln grit returned in the Guangxu period!
I have seen hundreds of late 19th century porcelains with kiln grit.

The specific reason for it, I wouldn't know. Perhaps further decline of quality after the opium wars, not being able to filter it out?

I really have seen so many Kangxi revival, export,... wares (mainly plates) of the Guangxu period containing kiln grit.

Kind regards,



I have it now that there are many? Some ten years ago there were virtually no Guangxu wares with grit.
Why not upload some pictures of wares with kiln sand, which you think are normal export? Might be interesting.

Grit of this type was virtually eliminated after the 18th century in Jingdezhen made items. While wares made in the late qing dynasty may have some lower quality than 18th century wares, grit is not among the quality problems, not as far as I have seen in the last decade. This includes the domestic China wares we see. Items were just not fired on kiln sand (grit) anymore.  The use of saggars made kiln sand superfluous.
I would suspect that those you see now might be copies or modifications made or modified after the end of the Qing dynasty, not in one of those period kiln settings. I would also like to point out that 18th century export ware, which had this type of slanted foot rim seldom shows this type of grit on JDZ made items as production quality was it its best; one sees it mostly (but infrequently) only on lower quality items made for the common folks during the Yongzheng reign. But apart from that it would have been prominent only on wares of certain late Ming kilns. It would be more likely if some other places refired some wares with modified decorations later. Some Canton export wares may have this type of rim and a little sand, but they were re-fired in Guangzhou (Canton) not Jingdezhen.

Hopefully you will show some pictures of wares you mentioned.


I am a little bit confused right now. No kiln grit in 19 century ? I have seen plates with kiln grit in books and on named auctions and I have three more plates 19 century, presented here in the past, with kiln grit. This one here is Tongzhi. I made these photos quickly, they are not best quality, sorry for that, but the grit is visible 


Next is guangxu, small one


one more guangxu, large one


and one more just seen, famille rose (also presented here in the past)


do you think, that it is possible, plates were fired in earlier time and decorared much later ? 


> do you think, that it is possible, plates were fired in earlier time and decorated much later ? 

Yes, that is a fact. What I know is as follows:
1. The Canton wares (not sure if this only refers to enameled wares or also blue/white ones) were painted on blanks made at Jingdezhen, which then were transported to Canton (Guangzhou), where they were painted in the foreign factories. They were then fired at Guangzhou kiln, sometimes not only once, probably. That is because gilt must be fired at a lower temperature, so after painting the enamel colors there would be one firing, then after the gilt another firing at lower temperatures.
2. The 18th century type foot rim of your first item appears on items up to the Jiaqing reign or even early Daoguang, although it seems to have been fired only until the Qianlong reign. It appears there have been huge quantities of blanks stored which then were painted later. (I say it appears because there is not really much reliable information from the Chinese side; until now research of export wares has been largely neglected.)

The above is the reason I suspect your first item was initially fired in the early 19th century. The decoration style and character writing would support this, but the grit makes this doubtful in my view. The underside decoration is unlikely from that period, rather late Qing or early republic, probably.
I can reconcile that only by assuming that already existing plates were further decorated. Usually, this type of (rice grain) decoration is not very colorful, blue, red(dish) and gilt is most common. But it would be easy to add further colors later and fire them again. The later re-firing is where I suspect may be one opportunity for kiln grit to appear, but not in the original kiln. My personal view.