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Fake? Tiny "Qianlong Nian Zhi" vase w/ dragon motif

by Jeremiah Thompson
(Seattle, Washington, USA)

My sister found this small vase at a thrift store. It purports to be Qianlong Nian Zhi in Kaishu script and though I'm pretty sure it is a fake, I would like a second opinion. My concerns are: 1) with the lightness of the shade of blue, 2) If dragon motif is appropriate for a piece supposedly of the period, 3) the glaze has quite a few air bubbles and what appear to be rust spots, which could be faked signs of age. Also wondering about the reddish hew at the top?

Comments for Fake? Tiny "Qianlong Nian Zhi" vase w/ dragon motif

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Jun 24, 2010
by: Jeremiah

I did also submit pictures of the spoon, so it may have been accidentally deleted. Here they are again. I am curious about the translucent portions in the middle of the spoon? I haven't seen this before. As for the vase, no, I didn't seen any signs of faking other than that I was surprised that the glaze had so many air bubbles in it. In regard to the green bowls, I have yet to have them formally appraised, however I would be happy to let you know what I find out.

Jun 24, 2010
by: peter


Did you also mention the spoon? I am not sure if I just saw it on the pictures or if I accidentally deleted the submission.
Anyway, probably end of Qing to republican period also (20th century, I would say).
Not of high value, however. This type of table ware has been made for at least two hundred years, and is still being made. The new ones don't have the Qing style rim and mark.

May I ask if you did ask a valuer or appraiser for the value of the two green bowls?

Jun 24, 2010
snuff bottle
by: peter


This looks like a snuff bottle without lid to me.
I agree with your suspicion that the blue may be inappropriate and would like to add an observation. The claws are painted quite "fat", not slender or thin as was usual.

In my view this probably is 20th century, perhaps republican period or later. It cannot be of the Qianlong period because five clawed dragons were reserved to the emperor and during certain reigns could have serious consequences to the painter. I assume that this would have been the case in the Qianlong period. During the Qianlong reign only imperial wares ordered by the court would have been allowed to have dragons with five claws. But for imperial wares the painting at the top is much too crude, and the mark on Qianlong imperial wares was mostly in Zhuan-shu.

I wouldn't be going to call it a fake because of the use of the Qianlong mark. This was used from the end of the Qing dynasty until into the republican period. Are there any signs of faking the age?

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