Chinese pot

by John

I'm trying to find out about this pot. It has a wonderful scene of mountains,pagodas and boats.
The image is very watery that's why it maybe looks a bit blurred the signature is also blurred.Unfortunately it also has a starburst crack to the base.
It's about 9 inches in diameter.
Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Comments for Chinese pot

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Oct 16, 2011
Re Pot
by: John

Hi Peter

Thank you for the info. It just reminds me what a difficult subject Chinese porcelain is!

I hadn't realised how much copying the Japanese did of Chinese ceramics.

Guess I need to study the subject more.

Many thanks

Oct 15, 2011
lidded pot (lid missing)
by: peter

Hi John,
Thanks for the additional pictures. According to these it definitely seems to be antique. And yes, there must have been rings. But, wooden covers would be only for replacement, normally the covers are in porcelain too. It's just that they frequently were broken, so that we only see the replacement ones.

I still think it is more likely Japanese. You see, Japanese shapes have some distinct differences to Chinese ones. This is not what I have learnt, this is what I know from experience, because I have been living many years in Japan.
Anyway, my opinion is not based on the shape alone.
The mountains look like Kangxi, but the style the water is painted does not. This is incongruent. Also, the stylized cloud band at the top is not in a Chinese style. I would find a deviation from the normal acceptable, if this were a carelessly made porcelain piece. But, this is a very meticulously executed item. I don't think the porcelain painter who painted that would have changed the regular pattern. That cloud band had certain modifications from the Yuan dynasty to the Ming, and then to the Qing dynasty. This one corresponds to nothing of this.

Further, the seal mark. It is in Chinese characters, but the Japanese used these (seal marks) too. Every week I look at many items on the Japanese internet, and many have this type of mark, which is not that frequent on Chinese porcelain.
You should understand that the Japanese did copy lots of Chinese subjects, motifs and marks until a least the late 19th or early 20th century. There are even Ming marks found on Japanese made items. Often, with the motif being Chinese, a slight difference in color usage, the mark, or the shape is the only thing that tells us whether it is Chinese or Japanese, with this type of porcelain. These items are completely different from the typical Japanese patterns.
I would really be surprised if this were Chinese, despite its Chinese style decoration. But, it is antique.

Oct 15, 2011
Re Pot
by: John

Hi Peter

I think the pot has a fair age to it.
It's been in my family for at least 40 years. I think it may be 19th Century.

I've uploaded more detailed pics to photobucket.

It looks like it may have had a lid at some point, Wooden maybe?

To the underside the porcelain has pulled apart in the firing.

The shape reminds me a bit of Chinese bronze censers.
The lion masks have a hole all the way through and may have had rings originally.

Oct 14, 2011
by: peter

Hi John,
I don't know if someone knows more about this...but I'm afraid that even then, more detailed pictures may be needed.

As for me, I would need a hands on inspection with this item to make sure.
Obviously, the decoration looks like Chinese Qing dynasty. On the surface the mountains are similar to the Kangxi period, but the style of the water is different.

The shape does not look Chinese. It could be old Japanese or modern Chinese, imitating Chinese decorations. However the mark makes me lean more to Japanese.
As I mentioned, personally I would need to see the actual item.

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