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Nov 09, 2010
temple jars
by: peter

I sent you the Chinese terms because the equivalent English term (temple jar) turns up images of items that look brand new to me. I'm afraid there aren't that many sites on the web with such information.

Anyway, I hope you don't get mark is a Chenghua Nianzhi mark, but it is of no importance, only decorative. See the marks page for the "unimportance" of marks on Chinese porcelain.

As to price, I don't know any forums discussing price, but you could get a valuation for the price of a cup of coffee at This is the lowest I know and I have used them myself a few times.

Nov 09, 2010
Thank you
by: Dave

This is some wonderful info. I can't tell you the amount of time I have put into finding so little info. You gave me tons, and a some great ideas to start with. I did do a quick search with the marks however other then the pictures I can't read any of the info. Any sites that might have english?

I will post some better photo's later today. Not that I am looking to resell them right now, but would you have any info on an honest place to get an idea of the value?

Thanks so much

Nov 08, 2010
temple jars
by: peter

Hi Dave,
First I want to mention the mark. These pictures confirm that it is a spurious Ming Chenghua mark. I suspected that from the foot rim. The Ming dynasty ended 150 years before such jars were made.
These are very standard jars, the decoration going back to the early 19th century (Jiaqing reign). They were produced throughout the late Qing dynasty and republican period. There are also modern copies.
The pictures are not detailed enough but it seems that at least the one with the lid is Qing dynasty. You can check yourself if they have the proper age signs, or you can post more pictures or a link with high resolution images.

And, yes this is a replacement lid. Like many other "lidded" wares such jars frequently have their lids missing as they probably were dropped at one time or another. (It happened to me too!) Antique replacement lids have a value of their own, I don't think the fact that the jar has a replacement lid will decrease its value much. This is my personal view, however, and this may differ with high end wares.

Now to the type, this is what in the west is called a "temple jar". In Chinese it is "將軍罐" (general's jar). Both names come from the shape of the lid, it seems. The west associates it with a temple roof, I assume, while the Chinese associate it with a generals hat of old. You can try to do a Google image search with the Chinese characters, and you will find lots of pictures of such jars.
Sometimes they are also called "喜子罐" because of the "happiness" character, which is used for weddings (these are wedding jars). However, this Chinese character is not limited to temple jars and a search of the latter term will turn up many different shapes of wedding jars, with the same character.

Nice antique vitrine in the background, is it Chinese too?

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