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by Andrew

Hi again to you all,
The pictures could help more than my input, the last image is of the base.
However, out of interest, I was able to identify the two characters that are visible on the coin in the toad's mouth.
An antique Chinese coin trading site has genuine Ming coins for sale & character comparisons with these on the toad identify two possible markings:

Yong Li Tong Bao
Yong Chang Tong Bao

both these identify late Ming period coinage.

any comments most welcome,


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Mar 20, 2011
by: peter

Hi Andrew,
No need for the praise. Actually, I have the feeling that the more one learns the more one understands how little one knows... :-)
Looking at this bottom I cannot tell for sure why it looks that way.
Usually, items are standing during firing, unless certain old items that were fired in suspension.
The item or ground they stand on is made of clay. Some of the older wares stood on so-called kiln sand while in the kiln. This can be excluded, I think. The bottom couldn't look like this. If it was a too thin glaze that would have run down to the base and then was sucked into the gap between item and bottom, that would be possible. In this case, there should be signs of glaze accumulation along the edge, or signs that such accumulation was removed. That would be places where the glaze is not glossy or shows breaks or grinding.

Mar 20, 2011
final comment & thankyou again.
by: Andrew

Hi Pete,
wow, I really need to think a lot more about all really know your stuff & I need to be more of a detective to know about this stuff.
But it really is exciting & thanks for making it so.
Now I'm not 100% sure if it's iron or slag, looks like it, sorry for my literal assumption!
I've chipped a bit of the black glassy stuff on the bottom away, & it's not metal.

the black is some type of glaze material.
It's actually found in the coloured glazes as well, but appears more more like flat blotches & spots there.
Any final thoughts on this bit of info?

best regards & much appreciation, Andrew.

Mar 20, 2011
by: peter

With this one I have also a problem with the bottom. I have never seen such stuff adhering. Usually, it doesn't get that way during firing. That dark stuff looks like slag or molten metal that got burned during firing, but what is it, really? If it is metal, why is it there? If it is glaze, it shouldn't look that way for sure.
Almost all bottoms I have seen with such a dark color have been "treated". You don't usually have metal in a kiln.

I noted the fine crackles, that is why I think it could have some age.

Mar 19, 2011
three legged toad
by: Andrew

thanks for your swift reply Peter.

thebase of the toad has been scrubbed with acetone & some black dirt came away into the white cloth as well.
the orange appears to be permanent feature of the white porcelain & has the colourd overglazes running down over it, especially visible arond edges.
the black iron does not come off either & seems to be fused with porcelain.
also there are black iron crystular growths coming out of the overglazes, some appear with silvery sheen...have added pic of this.
also adhered sand grit evident around toes of one of the feet, again with fused overglazes.
could this burnt orange & iron be due to high temperature firing & porcelain impurities....there's also a large hairline crack in base...looks like firing crack & not accidental..noticed it only when water seeped through it when I originally rinsed inside.
base does not looked faked to me
glazes have fine crazing hard to photograph.
Its all fascinating & learning experience.
please let me know about these observations of mine.
thanks awfully, Andrew

Mar 19, 2011
toad and coin
by: peter

Hi Andrew,
The one-legged toad with a coin in the mouth is a common auspicious symbol for prosperity.
The third picture does indeed give the impression that this item has some age, but probably not Ming. Unfortunately, if the last image is the bottom, then it makes it look suspicious.

I don't think that the currency used for the coin is relevant to the age. These coins are used all the time, even in modern products.
I'm sorry but I have doubts about all three items.


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