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Heavy Chinese Brass Bowl

by Annemarie
(Wales UK)

Having read Alan's query about his pair of Chinese censers and Peter's response, I am curious to know what my Chinese bowl could be as it has the same markings on the base as Alans but is highly decorated with dragons and symbols both inside and out and weighs one kilogram but is only around 10cm diameter and 6cm high. I have attached a photograph of the base and one of the interior. Any information gratefully received.

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May 04, 2011
brass bowl mark
by: peter

Hi Annemarie,
The mark is probably spruious, which may indicate that the item is contemporary, not antique.
This is a Ming Xuande reign mark. This mark is still frequently appearing on new censers.

The problem here is with the middle character in the lower row. The character is written as it should be written - today!
But, in the Ming dynasty this character was written with a stroke less than it is today. I know of porcelain marks in the 19th century which have the proper character, as it is today, but many of not most bronze or metal censers, even those made after the Ming dynasty, still have the original Ming character. Most collectors of Chinese antiques know that the character was written differently on antique censers, I think.

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