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Subject:Seeking Assistance
Posted By: GT Saw Mon, Sep 14, 2009 IP:

This is my first tme Ijoin this forum. Just need to know what is this blue little tripod which I had and also the script inscription says?

Thank you.

Subject:Jian Fu Gong (palace) West Garden in the Forbidden City (Qing Dynasty)
Posted By: Bill Tue, Sep 15, 2009

Hi, GT Saw:

I would like to advise you to post better (larger)pictures of the writings on your ceramic piece because nobody will be able to read such small characters.

On the inside of your piece, the characters on the right-hand side of the chop mark are seal scripts and those on the left-hand side are Manchurian scripts (Qing dynasty).

On the bottom of your piece, the three characters at the right from top to bottom are:

{ (Jian Fu Palace)
Jian (establish) Fu (good fortune) Gong (palace)

and the four characters at the left from top to bottom are:

ؐΘR (Tree, rock and artificial mountain)

Mu (wood, tree) Shi (stone, rock) Jia (artificial) Shan R (mountain)

All these characters are in Seal scripts.
The second four-character phrase: Mu Shi Jia Shan describes the features of a garden. It is not uncommon for one to see articifial mountains, rocks and trees found in any good-sized garden, from small scale to really large-scale artificial mountain. I used to see them in my maternal grandpa's garden in his Hong Kong estate. I played inside when I was a child with my many cousins and had a field day especially when we were eating loong-an (dragon eye) fruit and yellow-skin fruit from his fruit trees grown inside the garden.

For pictures of these types of artificial mountain, please refer to:

The 3-character phrase Jian Fu Gong is probably referring to the Jiang Fu Palace which was located inside the Forbidden City in Beijing, China. This palace was built in the Tang dynasty and was used as primary residence for the royal princes during the Ming dynasty. In Year 5 of the Qing Emperor QianLong, a west garden was built around this palace and it was known as the Jian Fu Place West Garden. This garden was 3,850 sq. km big and was unlike any other Qing royal gardens in design and therefore was very unqiue. The QingLong and later Qing emperors had stored many valuable artifacts including chinese paintings, golden buddha, protraits of Qing Emperors, and wedding gifts for the Last Qing Emperor Fu Yi, etc. inside this palace. There were many valuables being stolen from this palace during the end of the Qing dynasty and as soon as the last emperor ordered an audit for all valuables stored in this palace in 1922, there was a mysterious fire that not only destroyed the palace but also the complete site of the west garden. It was not until May 2000, a rebuilding project of the Jain Fu Gong West Garden project was started by the Chinese government, which finished on November 2005. The new garden is about 2,808 sq. km Now the West Gardne is under the care of the National Palace Museuem in China.

Attached are pictures of this garden with its burnt site.

Followings are references for this garden:萚

Therefore I believe your piece may have something to do with the Jian Fu Gong palace West Gardnen based on the charcters found on its bottom.

You may want to pay an expert to thoroughly translate those other scripts and appraise the value of your piece.


Subject:Re: Jian Fu Gong (palace) West Garden in the Forbidden City (Qing Dynasty)
Posted By: janice Thu, Sep 17, 2009

Hi Bill

you gave me the impression that this tripod is genuine. can you tell me how you come to this conclusion.


Subject:Genuine? Authentic?
Posted By: Bill Sun, Sep 20, 2009

Hi, Janice:

I found your statement

"..this tripod is genuine." quite intriguing.

Since I did not know anything about Chinese ceramic but was simply trying to translate the Chinese seal scripts found on the bottom of this tripod plate and to give my best guess regarding its source - Jian Fu Gong and to provide a short history of the imperial palace and its west garden. Therefore if I had inadvertently misled you or others the age of this plate, I would like to apologize.

I have no idea what it meant if any one would ask me if this tripod plate is genuine. It surely looks like a genuine tripod plate to me. Is it authentic? Authentic as what? Since I had not and could not say exactly how old it is, therefore I recommended GT Saw to seek professional helps in appraising this plate and in translating both the Manchurian and Seal Scripts on it. May be then they can find out more about it by tracing the original source of the poem (?) (four sentences of five characters each). Or some of these many ceramic experts in this forum can help him.

The things that intrigue me about this plate are the Manchurina scripts and seal scripts found on it because when I studied the Qing Emperor QianLong reign marks found on authentic QianLong jade bowls, some of these marks were quite similar to those found on ceramic. The genuine QingLong reign marks were also executed very nicely. (*I did not see any QianLong mark on this piece, by the way.) Furthermore, the Emperor QianLong loved to write poems and have them "carved" on jade bowls and ceramic pieces from his imperial collection. Just like the picture of the Northern Song tripod bowl shown by kk was calligraphed with his poem. However, one thing I had learned from my research is, almost in 90% of the examples, the poems written by QingLong were being calligraphed in Regular (Standard) scripts and not in Seal Scripts. Many of the fake QianLong jade items were calligraphed with these type of seal scripts and with very bad QiangLong seal marks. Therefore it is almost easy to tell right away that they are fakes. I do not know if same may apply to ceramic or not.

Since the West Garden of the Jian Fu Palace was not built until Year 5 of QianLong (1740) and was burnt down on June 26, 1923. The palace itself was not built till 1742 and was remodeled in 1802(Year 7 of Jiaqing).

Therefore this tripod plate could have been made at any time between 1740 - 1923 if it has anything to do with the Jian Fu Palace or its West Garden.

Can it be a sovenir plate made when they had rebuilt the West Garden in 2005? Sure, but unlikely.

It is because any time when I see any Manchurian scripts being executed "nicely" on any jade items I have to give it serious consideration that this is a piece that was made during the late Qing dynasty although not necessarily during the QianLong era. The reason is the Manchurian scripts are very difficult to learn, speak or write.

According to:

"Manchu began as a primary language of the Qing dynasty Imperial court, but as Manchu officials became increasingly sinicized, many started losing the language. Trying to preserve the Manchu identity, the imperial government instituted Manchu language classes and examinations for the bannermen, offering various rewards to those who excelled in the language. As Yongzheng Emperor (reigned 1722-1735) explained, "If some special encouragement ... is not offered, the ancestral language will not be passed on and learned".[2] Still, the use of the language among the bannermen was in decline throughout the 1700s. Historical records report that as early as 1776, Emperor Qianlong was shocked to see a high Manchu official, Guo'ermin, not understand what the emperor was telling him in Manchu, despite coming from the Manchu stronghold of Shengjing (now Shenyang).[3] By the 19th century even the imperial court had lost fluency in the language. The Jiaqing Emperor (reigned 1796 to 1820) complained about his officials being good neither at understanding nor writing Manchu.[2] By the end of the 19th century the language was so moribund that even at the office of the Shengjing (Shenyang) general, the only documents written in Manchu (rather than Chinese) would be the memorials wishing the emperor long life; at the same time period, the archives of the Hulan banner detachment in Heilongjiang show that only 1% of the bannermen could read Manchu, and no more than 0.2% could speak it.[2] "

"The use of the language for the official documents declined throughout the Qing history as well. Especially at the beginning of the dynasty, some documents on sensitive political and military issues were submitted in Manchu but not in Chinese[5]. Later on, most Imperial documents were drafted in both Chinese and Manchu[citation needed], and at least some records in Manchu continued to be produced until the last years of the dynasty,[2] which was overthrown in 1912."

As you can see, even during the QianLong era many Manchurian officials could no longer speak or write Manchurian. Today, there are simply not that many people left who can speak or write the Manchurian language. It is not possible for modern forgers to write any Manchurian scripts unless they copy them from somewhere.

Therefore while I do not know anything about Chinese ceramic, however juding by the quality of both the seal scripts and Manchurian scripts found on this tripod plate, while I do not believe it was made during the QianLong era, I believe there is a very good possibility that it was made during either the JiangQing or Daoguang era (that means during the first or second quarter of the nineteen century)to commemorate a special occasion at the Jian Fu Gong West Garden or may be a part of the Garden collections. Of course, this is only my assumption and can be totally off the mark. It is quite possible that they might have made a whole bunch of these plates by copying a "genuine" one and sell them as sovenirs. If that is the case, I believe the forum members would have no troubles in locating another similar piece to show us here. However, if any of us can translate all the seal scripts on this tripod and trace its origin and the ceramic experts in this forum can examine the quality of this plate closely, may be we can shed more light into the "age" of it. Then may be your question "is it genuine" can be better answered.



References: (quite a few reference inside this pdf article about the Jiang Fu Palace)

P.S. Genuine or authentic? - Jade

When the terms "genuine" or "authentic" are used on jade carvings, it is almost very confusing, at least to me.

Does "genuine" refer to its material or age of a jade carving?

If we describe a jade carving was made of genuine or real jade, what exactly do we mean?

Does it mean it was made of either jadeite or nephrite?

There are many authentic archaic Chinese jades that were not made of either jadeite or nephrite but were made of other stones such as serpentine (Xiu Yan jade) and Feldspar (DuShan jade). Actually not until the middle Qing dynasty, jadeite was not used for the carving of jade and was not considered "real" jade.

Therefore, does that mean an authentic archaic Chinese jade carving that was not made of nephrite or jadeite should not be considered "genuine"?


What exactly does authentic mean?

If a jade carving that was made during Song dynasty but was attributed incorrectly as that of Qing dynasty, does that make it not authentic?

If a modern jade carving that was made during the 21st century and described as such, does that make it authentic?

Now makes it worse, what exactly is "modern" jade carving?

Does any jade carving that is less than 100 years old should be considered as "modern"? Or any jade carvings that were made after Qing dynasty or after 1911? If it is the first defintion, that mean a Qing dynasty piece made in 1911 will be "modern"?

Or does modern refer to the carving techniques being employed to make a jade carving? That means those jade carvings that have modern tool marks (resulted from electrical carving tools with high rpm and polishing with diamond/corundum grit in high rpm; after early 1960s) should be considered "modern" while those with tu marks (from manual tu) should not be considered as "modern"?

I really cannot help but to post these questions here because different terms can mean different things to different people, especially in jade collecting. Thanks for your patience and forgive my rambling.

Subject:Re: Seeking Assistance
Posted By: GT Saw Wed, Sep 16, 2009

Dear Mr Bill,

Thank you for your positive and encouraging comment. By the way I am only a novice. Enclosed is an enhanced photo of the inside script, the best I can handle. Looking forward to further comment.

Thank you

Subject:Re: Seeking Assistance
Posted By: kk Fri, Sep 18, 2009

Please see this Ruyao dish in the National palace museum.

The marks are after Qianlong Emperor.

Subject:Re: Seeking Assistance
Posted By: GT Saw Tue, Sep 22, 2009

Refer to Script jpg attached. Based on the record, this is first four sentence of the poem created in the 39 year of Qianlong Reign. I assume the Manchurian script could be similar to the verse. Can someone explain what the Chinese poem meant?

Enclosed is a chip off showing the inside biscuit of my other piece. Please comment.

Thank you.

Subject:Re: Seeking Assistance
Posted By: Bill Wed, Oct 07, 2009

Hi, GT Saw:

I am curious in finding out what the forum ceramic experts will say about the age of your tripod plate. I do not seem to be able to find any opinions regarding this piece.

Also, how did you find out QianLong's poem. It is really a great job of you. Do you read seal scripts?



Subject:Re: Seeking Assistance
Posted By: GT Saw Thu, Oct 08, 2009

Hi Bill,

I'm of Chinese Origin but sadly unable to read mandarin. I got my elder sister to double check the Kangxi Dictionary . In fact, she did all my other pieces as well at quite a fast pace, and enjoying it,too.

If ever you need an assistant, I'll gladly get her to help.

As for the tripod, I'll try other alternative to verify it.

Thank you and Best Regards.
GT Saw

Subject:Re: Seeking Assistance
Posted By: richard severson Mon, Sep 03, 2018

Hi- The chip shurd is Ru ware, I have a few pieces and have studied them a lot

Here is mine for example...

Subject:Re: Seeking Assistance
Posted By: GT Saw Thu, Sep 24, 2009

Hi KK,

Thank you for your Taipei Museum link.
Why do you state that the mark are after Qianlong emperor?

A search on the net got me this link to;col1
and quote; "... mentioned by the famous Tang Ying, who was the director of the imperial kilns at Jingdezhen in Jiangxi Province from 1736 to 1756. In a memorial dated the seventh year of Qianlong (1742), Tang Ying referred to the fact that he had been given the poem with instructions from the emperor to inscribe it on a sedan chair vase. He informed the throne:Your obedient servant has had the poem inscribed in four different styles of calligraphy on vases of four appropriately different shapes so as to avoid duplication.... The four calligraphic styles mentioned in the memorial would be regular, cursive, clerical, and seal scripts." unquote .

I guess most of our members are more versatile in porcelain. Thus I would like to post another item for discussion. What's your comment?

Thank you.

Subject:Re: Seeking Assistance
Posted By: kk Fri, Sep 25, 2009

Ruyao is one of the most famous imperial kiln.Please look up Ruyao on the internet.

There are less than 70 pieces intact Ruyao known to exist today (the Taipei museum has the most) . There is no real Ruyao on today's market whatsoever. The etched poem on your piece was by Qianlong emperor but he was talking about an other piece with a pair of handle, not your piece.

Both pieces are new.

Subject:Re: Seeking Assistance
Posted By: PyroManiac Tue, Sep 29, 2009

Don't know about the Ru as that is not my area of knowledge. But the vase you just posted is 100% new. The odd violet reddish "iron red" on the side ears are a dead give away.

Subject:Re: Seeking Assistance
Posted By: James Sat, Sep 09, 2017

I need help appraising this vase. To my knowledge it's Jun, the glaze is lifting and the crackle has patina, which I've not seen on modern ceramics. The inside also has greeny brown patina. The feel of the vase in general is tinny, like authenticated Song items I have. The base has three spur marks and old glue residue, the foot has been ground down probably because the glaze slipped in the kiln, but the paste has patina. The body of the vase doesn't look like it's been turned on a modern wheel; it feels organic. Can anyone help please.

Subject:Re: Seeking Assistance
Posted By: GT Saw Sun, Oct 04, 2009

Hi Bill, KK, PyroManiac and others

Maybe I should begin with an apology for not providing sufficient information. As mentioned before I wish to state that I am a novice for ceramic. I have no idea how to call my pieces, either the Ru, Jun, Guan Ge etc or the porcelain category. However, I would like to stress these things were not bought from e-bay or any other shopping outlet.

I considered them as a token of appreciation for help rendered, and together was given an epitaph dated Yongle 18th year (1420) which I am not going to reveal in full. Enclosed are snapshots of said. Noticed the iron-ore burnt which were plentiful on the porcelain.

I was hoping that some assistance or guide like how to do a prelimary checking ; how to check pinkish glow on ru body ; period markings guides; mineral-paint type; checking of non-glow on porcelain body; etc. or whatever suggestion would be greatly appreciated.

By the way, soak with home-made enzyme solution when cleaning your porcelain and all stubborn stains ( I rub, scrub and acid doesnt work) will come off sparkling like mine.

I was recommended to seek assistance at AsianArt Forum. I would definitely welcome any genuinely doing research party /parties who are keen to further study the said epitaph and ceramic pieces.

Thank you.

Bye and Best Regards.
GT Saw

Subject:Re: Seeking Assistance
Posted By: PyroManiac Mon, Oct 05, 2009

Sorry GT Saw. You don't have to post other images or larger images of the items above. I already know exactly what they are. There is also very little point in spending time to research them.

"Noticed the iron-ore burnt which were plentiful on the porcelain"

Iron impurities in the clay mean nothing much. All it means is that there are impurities in the clay. Can happen 1000 years ago, still happens today. Or if you want to give a new items some "imperfections", leave or add impurities int he porcelain. The orange effect of the fired clay can happen naturally as in many older pieces or can be added by spraying a chemical compound that turns orange once fired. The ability to distinguish between real orange fired clay vs. the sprayed orange effect is vital if you want to collect real antiques.

Subject:Re: Seeking Assistance
Posted By: GT Saw Tue, Oct 06, 2009

Hi PyroManiac,
Sorry to cause such burst of frustration. Unfortunately youve met a true novice who had just got myself a first lesson in ceramic, not knowing what is real antique.

By the way, just got this interesting link and would be looking towards doing more research at this

Subject:Re: Seeking Assistance
Posted By: GT Saw Wed, Oct 07, 2009

Hi everyone,
Just curious to know more about The orange effect of the fired clay mentioned by PyroManiac. I noticed that a broken piece of the ceramic indeed had orange color clay. Can some tell whether is this colored or happen naturally as in many older pieces quote.

Forgive me but Im here to learn.

Thank you.
GT Saw

Subject:Re: Seeking Assistance
Posted By: kk Thu, Oct 08, 2009

Here is another "Ruyao". They are a lot of them made as gift items not really as reproduction.
Market price of authentic ruyao probably will be a few millions USD today.

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Subject:Re: Seeking Assistance
Posted By: GT Saw Fri, Oct 09, 2009

Hi KK,
TQ . Point noted.

Anyway, thanks to everyone for effort and opinion contributed.

Best Regards and Bye.
GT Saw

Subject:Re: Seeking Assistance
Posted By: Cal Fri, Oct 09, 2009

Pyro did not say "orange effect of the fired clay."

He commented on "odd violet reddish "iron red" on the side ears." This is the color of the enamel painted on the handles, not the color of the actual clay.

Many different clays have some iron in them, which when fired in kiln allowing enough oxygen, will fire to orange-to brownish color where no glaze.

Part of reason Jingdezhen and some other porcelain so successful is very low amount iron in components of its porcelain, so fires white even in modern gas kilns.

None of what you show have anything to do with ancient ruyao.

Good luck,

Subject:Re: Seeking Assistance
Posted By: GT Saw Thu, Nov 05, 2009

Hi Cal,

Sorry for the delayed reply. Since KK and Pyro had slightly "strong" tonal, I thought that I would do more "reading" on the net to improve my understanding of ceramic.

By the way, thanks for your information regarding the "iron in the clay". I was pondering why the orange coloured clay was more "optical illusion" like white sugar when zoomed with a lighted 100X lens.

Anyway I did find some interesting information in the Taipei Online Museum Links, "The Beauty of Chun Ware" at

Interestingly three similarities I observed were:
a)Bluish green glaze ipittedjPhoto1 at link

b) Worm Tracks Pattern Photo2 at link

Worm tracks - "One of the unique characteristic of Chun glaze. Excessive dryness in the body leads to cracking in the pre-fired glaze. During the firing process, excess glaze runs into these cracks, creating squiggles which resemble the tracks lefts by worms."

c) Detailed of glaze Photo3 can be described as "duplicated" as at link

What I would like to know is how best modern potters can duplicate these three features very distinctly.

Also, not all Bluish Wares are Ru ware. They might be a Jun ware, too.
I would like to quote from link at :
"Ru ware and Jun ware belong to the five most famous porcelains of the Song dynasty (AD 960NCAD 1276), China. Their relationship is one of the focuses of research in ancient ceramic circle. In this article, some shards of Ru ware, its modern copies and Jun ware were analyzed by using SEM, UVNCVIS spectrometer. Under SEM, Ru ware has different micromorphological structure to Jun ware, and Ru modern copies are more similar to Jun ware. These differences could explain the reflectance spectrum difference between Ru modern copies, Jun ware and Ru ware. So the UVNCVIS method has the potential to answer RuNCJun confusion problem and be a reference in nondestructive authentication of Ru ware. Special optical phenomena may illuminate that the glaze color of Ru ware is the combined result of physical and chemical effects. However, more determinate conclusions need more samples" unquote.

That's all for now.

Thank You and Best Regards.
GT Saw

Subject:Re: Seeking Assistance
Posted By: Cal Fri, Nov 06, 2009


Chemical analysis glaze help a little to distinguish between old and new formulations, but not tell such things as many-layers Ruyao glaze, light diffraction between layers and light interaction between layers of different crackle, how wares fired different conditions (say, different time of year, slightly different temperature, slightly different internal kiln atmosphere) turn out look different.

For Junyao, not tell how long kilnmaster maintain special temperature and cooling slow speed to develop and keep bubble structure, develop worm tracks, snail trails, palm eyes. Here kilnmaster have most control final appearance, glaze formula only not tell you much how optical character actually develop in kiln.

For study glazes, best starting basic book is by Michael Wood, /Chinese Glazes/. Look for analysis articles by Pamela Vandiver and others. Get 3 different editions, exhibition on Kiln Sites.

Good luck,

Subject:Re: Seeking Assistance
Posted By: GT Saw Fri, Dec 04, 2009

Hi Cal,

Got the two books, Chinese Glazes(Niger Wood) and Ceramic Masterpieces (W.D. Kingery & P.B Vandiver). Easy to read but find difficulty to comprehend due to my shallow understanding of Material Sciences. However find both books very useful and informative.

I put my earlier blue dish on a scanner and scanned at 1200 dpi and expolated at 150X in MS Publisher and got this attached photo. I would like your opinion regarding said.

Again, thank you for your kind assistance rendered and greatly appreciated.

Best Regards,
GT Saw

Subject:Re: Seeking Assistance
Posted By: Cal Sun, Dec 06, 2009

Good quality scan.

Could be junyao-type glaze, fired and cooled a little too quickly.

Jun kilns working today using some glaze recipes produce similar color effects to ancient junyao plus many more brightly colored wares. Old glaze recipes no secret today, but potteries not use ancient kilns and same firing procedure. So can achieve similar colors but not same configurations within glaze.

Good luck,

Subject:Re: Seeking Assistance
Posted By: GT Saw Tue, Dec 08, 2009

Hi Cal,

Refering to Ceramic Masterpieces Plate VIII & IX, Plate VIII features can be observed in P1 but not in P2.

Can P2 be the case as in PlateIX (B) 2nd or 3rd Photo condition?

Also, would like to know what reference is "thin body" and "thick glaze" condition refering to in measurement unit.

Thank you.

Best Regards,
GT Saw

Subject:Re: Seeking Assistance
Posted By: Cal Wed, Dec 09, 2009

"Can P2 be the case as in PlateIX (B) 2nd or 3rd Photo condition?"

By 'P2' you mean 2nd photo after captioned book plate? If so, looks to me like top right photo in book plate, IX-A.

"Also, would like to know what reference is "thin body" and "thick glaze" condition refering to in measurement unit."

You cannot know this without detailed description what piece authors talking about. They analyze both old and reproduction examples and pieces of items of different forms. Some old junyao about 2 mm total thickness at mouth or lip (thicker other parts such as sidewall, base), other old ones thicker at mouth or lip.

Good luck,
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