Commenting is deactivated.

Please post all new topics and queries to the
Discussion Forum

18th / 19th C Japanese? / Chinese? / Korean? vase

by Chris
(Manchester, UK)



This is a vase we have in the family that was given to a relative as a wedding gift in 1885 and was at the time considered "antique" - so I presume it is late 18th century, early 19th, but we know little else about it.

I have no knowledge of antiques and do not know where to begin researching the piece, its markings, origins and value.

I would be so grateful if anyone can provide any insight or starting points for me!

Many thanks in advance :)

Comments for 18th / 19th C Japanese? / Chinese? / Korean? vase

Click here to add your own comments

Apr 04, 2011
Japanese Vase
by: Chelsea

Hi there
My heart did a jump when I started to scroll down on the photo of your vase. When I saw the neck and the handles I immediately recognised a vase shape similar to one that I have at home. I am away from home at the moment so can't wait to get home and check out the marks. (It is wired to my wall (earthquake country!!) Will post a photo for your info. It is indeed Japanese - Very early Satsuma. I have had mine for over 40 years now - I bought it from a very reputable antique dealer when I was living in Japan. I was told it was around 1750 or so. Have never seen anything like it until now. Hope this is of some help.

Feb 24, 2011
by: ;peter

Hi, I forgot to answer your other question. To me this bottom does not look as if was standing on sand during the firing. That is, in the current picture I cannot see any traces that would indicate this.

Feb 23, 2011
by: peter

Hi Chris,
I know nothing about the firing of Japanese ceramics, what I know is related to Chinese ceramics only. They developed separately, and techniques are likely different. I never heard of any metal being involved with firing. I think that would be risky, but I don't really know about the process in Japan.

In China (as far as I'm concerned), basically the items were either standing on sand or on a hard base, or were suspended (earlier ceramics). Mostly the base would probably be some type of pottery or brick able to stand the intense heat. Depending on the type of item (bottom shape) and period the method used was different, but the sand method was disontinued later, possibly because some sand got fused into the glaze.

If a metal base is used in some kilns, I would be interested to know this. I would think that this probably would be possible only in recent times. Why? Porcelain is fired at up to 1400 degrees, or a little over. Iron has a melting point at over 1500 degrees. There would be a risk of the base melting. In old time it was difficult to control heat accurately, as there was no means of measuring it. It wholly depended on the experience of kiln workers. With electric kilns accurate kiln temperature control would be possible, though, I assume.

I don't know how the thrown item is removed from the wheel, but this may be also depending on the individual kilns and period. With many it would not be possible to detect, because the foot rim was cut (shaved) after throwing, depending on the item and period.

As I said, all above is only valid for China. I don't know about Japanese techniques.

Feb 23, 2011
Sand fired base and cut marks
by: Anonymous

Hi Peter,

Many thanks for this - Its really appreciated!

We always call it the "Chinese vase" but looking at the image of the samurai, I'm not sure why?! ;)

I'll head over to asianart and see what their experts have to say.

On another note (I guess this isn't an origin specific question) but I'm sure I read on one site that ceramics were fired on either a sand base or a metal base - the sand base being the earlier method... would you say the stipples on the base of the vase indicate that this is a sand fired vase?

Also, I read somewhere else that before entering the kiln, the vases were cut from their clay base with a piece of string - again, is this the thin outer ring we can see on the bottom. I believe the direction of this cut is also an indication of the factory - but I'm not sure how you'd tell which direction it goes in.

Thanks again for your help and suggestion!


Feb 22, 2011
Japanese vase
by: peter

This is a Japanese vase. The bottom indeed looks as if it had some age. The mark could be a personal name, not a manufacturer.
You could do a Google image search to find similar items and find the kiln it was made in.
Otherwise, I suggest you try the forum at They have some forum members knowledgeable in Japanese ceramics. They may be able to provide more information.

Click here to add your own comments

Return to Ask a question or contribute - archived 2011.

search by keyword