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Ming dragon porcelain or Qing in Ming style?

Posted By: TimG
Posted Date: Jun 07, 2017 (10:31 PM)

I bought this gu (beaker) form vase recently. I am a bit confused as to whether or not it is Ming or a later Qing copy. I am leaning towards the vase being Ming, but I would appreciate any help given as I can not find a comparable piece.

In support of the vase being Ming....

Vase is heavily potted with pale bluish grey opaque slip. Foot ring is very smooth, there are some remnants of what looks like kiln sand, and the slip glaze brushed over the bottom of the vase looks typical of what I've seen in Swatow porcelains.

Dragons are rendered in Ming style with most feet in pin wheel form. In some areas the green enamel shows retractions from what I believe were large bubbles that formed during firing which I interpret as an indication of a developing technique not yet mastered.

In support of the vase being Qing...

Examples of Ming porcelains with green enamel dragons are rare and tend to be incised and the green enamel does not seem to bead up on the surface. This particular form of gu (beaker) vase with the side flanges seems to be more typical of the Kangxi period. So I suppose a Qing potter could have simply tried to recreate the slip and look of a Ming vase in commemoration, then decorated with green enamel dragons in a looser manner to create the appearance of greater age.

One third possibility that crossed my mind is that an undecorated late ming Swatow gu vase was decorated later during the Qing period.

Anyways, happy to share some pics and hope to hear from you soon.


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