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chinese porcelain planter

by stan
(Milwaukie OR.)

Hi Peter, I love your web sight, I think its great that you are offering your expertise free of charge, I have here a planter that I bought 20 years or so ago and an antique show, at the time the dealer sold it to me for $20.00 because it has a hairline crack on the bottom, but I thought it was beautiful all four sides are hand painted and the porcelain is of high quality, it looks like it could be old but I am not sure, can you tell me anything by the mark on the bottom, the size of the planter is 7-3/8" high and the top is 8-1/8" square and tapers down to the bottom and that is 4" square, thank you, from Stan.

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Feb 09, 2011
porcelain planter
by: stan

Thanks again Peter for your expertise, perhaps that explains why I only paid $20.00 for it, even if it is hand painted. To make sure that I am understanding correctly, earlier porcelain would not have enamel, but a glaze, that is good information, your web site is truly educational, thank again, from Stan.

Feb 08, 2011
by: peter

Hi Stan,
If the decoration feels raised, then this means it is enamel, and it is hardly Qianjiang in this case.
The reason that I think the Qianlong mark is spurious is that this type of decoration is not typical for the Qianlong period, but of later porcelain. A spurious mark in itself does not necessarily mean an item is fake.
A large part of original Qing dynasty and republic porcelains have marks showing the name of earlier reigns.
If you look at marked export porcelain of the late Qing dynasty (19th century), for example, you will find most of it with Kangxi or Qianlong marks. They are mostly in underglaze blue, handwritten before the glaze was applied. Most blue stamped marks were originally made for China's domestic use, it appears to me, at least during the Qing dynasty. Blue seal type stamped marks were more rarely used, however, and apparently they were applied with more care than the red ones. The red stamp marks used in the 19th century are often smeared or unclear.
I think your reasoning that a mark cannot be spurious because it was enamelled on the glaze is a bit shaky...
Basically, you can apply a seal stamp under or on top of the glaze. If the mark is raised, than it probably means that it is enamel.

What I would like you to be aware of is that later in the 20th century blue stamped marks were frequently used (probably more than during the Qing dynasty), possibly for convenience reasons. They do not require a mark painter. It is safer to judge a Chinese porcelain item by its appearance, etc. than by its mark. The mark is looked at last, and only to confirm if the mark confirms the conclusion obtained by an item's appearance.

Feb 08, 2011
spurious mark
by: stan

Hi Peter, the mark on the bottom of the planter is raised like the rest of the design, you can feel the design that is raised with your finger, I have never felt a spurious mark that has been painted on, they are usually done with a stamp and you cant feel the mark when you rub your finger over it, have you, Im sure there is all types of spurious marks, but this is the first mark that I have seen that is raised like the rest of the design, from Stan

Feb 07, 2011
by: peter

If this is handpainted, then you may have difficulties finding something like this at that price, nowadays, regardless of its age.
The mark is a spurious Qianlong mark put on for decoration.
The decoration resembles a type of Qianjiang porcelain (see here:, but to check this as well as its age some closeup pictures (partial) with good resolution would be needed.
This type of decoration sometimes comes with Chinese writing. This may provide a hint when and by whom it was painted, if any.

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