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Are these "Chinese" Vases worth keeping?

by Jon
(Kailua, Hawaii, USA)

Side 1

Side 1

Bought these supposed Antique Chinese Vases in Penang, Malaysia in the early 90's and wonder if they're worth keeping? Seemed like a good buy back then but the longer I keep them, the more skeptical I am about their authenticity and worth.
They look to be a set but the paintings are sloppily done, the art work is very crude and looks like they did a terrible job of copying as some of the people look nothing like the other on the "identical" vase. Both measure 36cm (14.25") and the weights are completely different as one is 4.1kg(9.2 lbs.) while the other is 2.7kg(6 lbs.) respectively.
When buying them, I knew nothing about Chinese vases and found out now that there are NO marks on the bottom, inside, or anywhere else so assume this is not a good sign.
Hope someone can tell me a little something about them or into the trash they go.
Thanks, Jon

Comments for Are these "Chinese" Vases worth keeping?

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Nov 12, 2010
by: peter

Hi Jon,
You can always use them as what they are: just vases.
Anyway, the resolution is not good enough to see details fully. For that close-ups or large pictures would be required.
I don't know as what you bought them, but Chinese they are... but if you bought them as antiques, no probably not. As I said the images are not detailed enough, but the colors and style don't look like anything antique to me.
For example. the headwear should be black not greenish like the background for obvious reasons. A literal translation of the Chinese name for the hat the central figure wears would be "black mesh hat", because they were black, whereas the side flaps were made of black mesh.
Generally said, I can't recognize or attribute the color combination of the whole image to any antique period, only the 20th century. If you want me to look at larger images, you could upload larger images to Flickr or a similar site and post the link. In that case an image of the bottom would also be appreciated.

No mark means nothing with Chinese porcelain, it is neither good nor bad. In fact, much of the Chinese porcelain was never marked at all.
Also, I don't think weight is a good indicator to decide whether an item is authentic or not. It could be that items of different batches were paired.

After all, its vases and they are Chinese...

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