Subject:Re: foo dog ginger jar
Posted By: Bill H Tue, Dec 05, 2017
I believe your jar probably is transfer-decorated and dates to the mid-20th century or later. Until recent times, I can't recall ever seeing any antique jars in this pattern, which announces the birth of sons, issued in crackle-glaze porcelain. Having once been a son-in-law in a traditional Chinese family, it's my impression that they and their astrologers probably would see all that crackling as disruptive of the life force such jars were meant to celebrate, Of course, I've been wrong before.
The base has a mark of "Jurentang Zhi", Made for the Hall where Benevolence Resides". This was the Republic-era presidential palace within the Zhongnanhai compound in Beijing. It was home to some of the finer Chinese porcelains ever made in the 20th century, to which excellence decorative jars like this one do not pay particular homage.
The four-character inscription above the cubs on this piece was found on most antique jars of this type and reads from the left as "Tai shi shao bao" (太獅少保), or "Grand lion and junior guardian of the heir-apparent", with the preceding "Tai shi" being homonym for 太師, the "Grand Tutor", as some mentors of imperial heirs-apparent were known in ancient times.