Exceptional Reign Marks

Exceptional reign marks of the 18th and 19th centuries

Notes regarding later reign marks:

慎德堂 (Shendetang)
This is the name of the palace of the Daoguang emperor, located in the Yuanmingyuan park. Porcelain bearing this mark, if genuine, would have been used by the Daoguang emperor and thus be imperial porcelain.

大雅齋 (Dayazhai)
Porcelain marked ‘Dayazhai’ (大雅斋) was fired during the first two years of the Guangxu reign at the Jingdezhen kiln. Porcelain bearing this mark, if genuine, would have been produced as tribute for empress dowager Cixi. The Qing government was at the time intent on restoring the declined ceramics industry flourish anew.

Other marks also found on items made for Cixi are:
天下一家春 (Tianxia Yijia Chun)  -- this mark is usually found together with the Dayazhai mark on the same item.

體和殿 (Tihe Palace Hall) -- another mark found on items made for the use of Cixi.

Note: Dayazhai is usually written on the outside of the item; it is always accompanied by a second, red mark. Both are also  found in late Qing/early republic items, that are not of the period.


古月軒 (Guyuexuan)
This mark was mainly used in the 18th century with snuff bottles and other small items made by enamelling. The mark would apply to any enamelled item, no matter wether the enamelling was done on porcelain, glass or metal.
As these decorations were all applied within the palace premises, this type of item was virtually unknown to the general population. It was/is actually imperial ware. Items decorated in this manner became only known ouside the palace towards the end of the Qing dynasty and early republic period, when items from within the palace started appearing outside.


居仁堂 (Jurentang)
Jurentang or Juren hall was the original Haiyantang which empress dowager Cixi had renovated.
It was for 83 days the residence of Yuanshikai, who in vain tried during the early republic (1915-16) to make himself emperor, using the reign name of ‘Hongxian.
Porcelain marked 居仁堂製 (Made by Jurentang) was used as a present during that time to honour officials and guests (diplomats). Items bearing this mark had a similar position as imperial porcelain during the Qing dynasty. It is considered the best among the ‘Hongxian’ period porcelain.

* The first three above are considered imperial marks, the last not, because Yuanshikai is considered an usurper.

All of above marks are widely copied on contemporary items. Guyuexuan marks appear mostly on modern snuff bottles.



Antique Porcelain Marks

» Exceptional Reign Marks

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