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Subject:Need Help with this Chinese vase ! Xuande?
Posted By: Mitko Wed, Aug 16, 2017 IP:

Hello Everybody!
I have this Chinese blue vase which is 20cm high
and has what applied dragons. It is hand marked to the bottom with what looks to be Xuande period mark. It has some dark burst bubbles imperfections to the rim. Just wondering if this could be authentic or it is later that just bears older mark. Let me know if you need more detailed photographs!
All opinions are welcome!
Thanks in advance!
All the best!

Subject:Re: Need Help with this Chinese vase ! Xuande?
Posted By: Bill H Fri, Aug 18, 2017

The Ming Xuande mark is more often seen on bronzes of subsequent Ming and Qing reigns. Porcelains with apocryphal Xuande marks are known from the later Ming Jiajing, Wanli, Tianqi and Chongzhen reigns, as well as the Qing Kangxi and Yongzheng periods, according to "Zhongguo Lidai Taoci Kuanzhi Dadian", published in Shanghai in 2000.

I believe this baluster form of vase with everted and lobated upper rim and dragons at the shoulders came into use circa the 2nd to 3rd quarters of the 19th century and was a staple in the popular Rose Medallion and Canton patterns. However, I don't recall ever seeing a blue & white vase of this form with a Xuande mark. Similar shaped vases, some in "Palace" sizes for decorator outlets, were still being ornamented in the rose medallion style during the late 20th century at porcelain painting factories in Hong Kong and Macao.

This brings me to the observation that your vase appears to have been given a new coat of white glaze within its foot rim to accommodate the Xuande mark. The evidence can be seen in the glaze lying on top of kiln grit that normally accumulates as a dark sandpaper-like spray atop the glaze around the inside bottom of the foot. This observation suggests there's reason to believe your vase is a fairly contemporary product of mainly decorative value, though the photos are insufficient to say whether you have a 19th century vase that has been given a new mark or a late 20th century Jingdezhen blank vase that was originally decorated in this manner using a transfer-printed motif on the sides and the mark forged by hand on the bottom. Perhaps others have views to add.

Best regards,

Bill H.

Subject:Re: Need Help with this Chinese vase ! Xuande?
Posted By: JLim Thu, Nov 23, 2017

Dear Mitko

After staring at this vase for a while, I am beginning to suspect this design is transfer printed on, at least in part. It is admittedly difficult to tell from this distance, but there are too many inexplicable breaks in lines to be a coincidence. Look in particular at the leaf-decoration right at the base; there seem to be spots missing. That would automatically make this quite a modern object.

If Bill is right about the double glazing of the base, this is quite a vindication of Anthony Allen's theory on why the "hollow line" exists in late Qing reign marks. Assuming the mark was written on a layer of glaze and then glaze placed over the top, that might have caused the extreme hollow lining that you can see in this example.

Kind regards
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