A reign mark records the name of the Chinese dynasty and the reign of the emperor during which the piece was made. It comprises four or six Chinese characters, and is usually found on the base of a work of art commissioned for the Emperor or his imperial household. Reign marks are most commonly written in vertical columns and are read from top to bottom, and from right to left.
It is thought that this system of reading and writing grew from ancient Chinese traditions of writing on vertical strips of bamboo or bone.
Reign marks can also be written in a horizontal line that is read from right to left. Four-character reign marks simply omit the first two characters recording the name of the dynasty. Reign marks can make for a handy dating tool, but buyers should beware — there are many faked marks on later copies and forgeries.
Imperial reign marks in kaishu, or regular script, began to appear regularly at the beginning of the Ming dynasty and continued throughout the subsequent Qing dynasty You would not expect to find reign marks on pieces from earlier dynasties.
The most common marks on porcelain tend to be written in underglaze blue within a double circle. There was a brief time during the Kangxi period in when the emperor issued an edict forbidding the use of his reign mark on porcelain in case the ceramics were smashed and discarded.
Zhuanshuor seal-form imperial reign marks, found favour during the Yongzheng period and were used throughout the 19th century. Note the characters are much more stylised and angular than kaishu script. Reign marks tend to be written in one of two very different-looking scripts: kaishu, or regular script, and zhuanshu, or seal-form script. Kaishu script was introduced in China in the Sui AD and Tang dynasties AD and is what we now most commonly associate with Chinese writing.
Zhuanshu script is a much more angular-looking script that originated on archaic Chinese bronzes in the Shang c. This style of mark was particularly favoured in the Qianlong period.
Depending on the medium of the work of art, reign marks can be written in underglaze cobalt blue or in enamels over the glaze in various colours including iron-red, pale blue or black. They can also be written in gilt and can be incised or impressed.
Reign marks are most commonly centred on the base of a vessel. However, they can also appear on the exterior of the base or the mouth of a vessel, usually in a single horizontal line. The quality of genuine reign marks varies greatly, but on pieces specially commissioned for the Emperor or his imperial household, the reign mark should be of the highest calibre, matching the finesse of the work of art.
A very poorly written mark on a ceramic or work of art intended for the Emperor should raise alarm bells. That said, it is common to find less well-executed marks on lesser quality ceramics or works of art made during the reign of the Emperor, but which were not intended for imperial use. To complicate matters a little, for hundreds of years Chinese artisans copied reign marks from earlier dynasties out of a respect and reverence for these earlier periods.
These marks were not necessarily intended to fool buyers into thinking they were buying a genuine earlier work of art. For example, it is not uncommon to find 15th-century Ming dynasty reign marks on Qing dynasty blue and white porcelain made in the Kangxi period The Chenghua period is famed for the quality of its imperial porcelain.
Chenghua porcelain is scarce largely as a result of the exacting standards of imperial porcelain manufacture — porcelain that was intended for the imperial household but which had any blemishes or firing faults was destroyed. Similarly, the Xuande period is acknowledged as a high point in the production of bronze works of art, and the vast majority of bronze censers made during the 17th and 18th centuries have Xuande marks to their bases.
This includes the apocryphal Xuande mark pictured above which appears on the base of a 17thth century quadrilobed bronze censer, also above. What is a reign mark? How do you read a reign mark? When were reign marks first used? How are reign marks written? Where do I look for the reign mark? How can you tell if a reign mark is authentic? If a piece has a later copied mark, is it an outright fake?
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Chinese Porcelain Reign Marks
Hong Kong 26 Nov.This sword is part of a group of very similar swords. Some are shorter double swords, other single swords, some large, like this one. What they all have in common are blades with extensive overlays in silver, sometimes also with copper and brass. The decor always incorporates figures, Sanskrit symbols, constellations, and a reign mark, all contained within a framed border following the contours of the blade.
The Qianlong emperor's long reign lasted from When looking at the style and workmanship of the swords in this group however, they seem to date to the late 19th to early 20th century. More specific, probably around - These swords have fooled collectors, auctioneers, curators, dealers, and authors alike, who took these marks at face value. Following the description in the museum, it was described as a "Ceremonial sword from the Qianlong reign" in a number of publications, including Osprey's "Late Imperial Chinese Armies - ".
Our sword is laid out on top of the book. It is rare to find a reign mark on an antique Chinese weapon, let alone one that doesn't correspond to its date of manufacture. It is not without precedent, though. Some 19th century rebel groups marked their weapons with Ming dynasty reign marks, harking back to the last period the Han were ruled by Han, and not by Manchus as had been the case in the Qing from onwards.
It was an act of rejecting the present Qing, and idealizing a distant past. Imperial reign marks of previous periods are very common on Chinese porcelain though. These marks were not necessarily intended to fool buyers into thinking they were buying a genuine earlier work of art. During the Qianlong period only few weapons would bear the Qianlong mark and these were all made in the imperial workshops, adhering to the highest standards of craftsmanship of the period.
Such items are auctioned for tens of thousands up to millions. Like with porcelain, the key to looking through such markings is to assess the style and quality of the piece itself and assess whether the presented item is indeed of the quality that this mark would suggest.
An example:. Our Qing sword with apocryphal Qianlong mark leftcompared to a real Qianlong period imperial piece right. The lesson here for the student of antique arms and armor is to always keep questioning. Museums descriptions, books, auctioneers, long-time collectors, they can all be wrong from time to time. Museums, in particular, are often held in high regard by the layman, but they too make mistakes.
Their collections span thousands of items and there is only so much expertise in-house. A curator with a master's on Japanese lacquerware may be appointed in a position where he's head of Chinese arms as well.Mazda cx 5 ground clearance 2016
Some museums do a great job cooperating with experts from many fields to increase their understanding, while other institutions, large and small, find it hard to change something even when it is pointed out to them again and again.
It is down to us, the arms and armor community as a whole, private and institutionalized, to keep studying and sharing to raise the level of our understanding. Notes to introduction 1. Now we have established what it is not, let's now focus on what it is: An exceptionally large and heavy Chinese straightsword of the late Qing dynasty, possibly even early Republic.
For this period, it's actually quite a nice piece. Most were of much simpler manufacture with little to no attempts to decorate them at all. The most striking feature of the piece is, of course, the blade.Reign marks can be found on Chinese ceramics mainly from the early-Ming dynasty 15 th century through to the Qing dynasty The majority of. A Qianlong period six-character zhuanshu seal script mark.
In theory, knowing the reign period of the emperor to which the mark refers would be an indication of the period of the piece, but in practice, knowing the reign mark is just one of the many pieces of information needed to authenticate a piece. These marks are varied — they can be hand written, incised, or stamped in the 19th century and laterand can be found in underglaze for example on blue and white and copper-red porcelainoverglaze, or gilt enamels. As with traditional Chinese text, marks are read vertically from left to right.10 FACTS That PROVE the APOCRYPHA Is NOT INSPIRED by God !!!
The characters are positioned either in a straight line, a square, or in two lines either horizontal or vertical. To break it down:. The position of the mark would depend on the piece itself, but generally speaking, for vessels like vases, bowls, or plates, it can be found on the base, but there are instances where pieces bear a single-line mark to the rim, or even on the interior.
For example, the earliest reign marked pieces are attributed to the Ming dynasty Yongle, Xuande, and Chenghua period, and those marks could found on the interior of vessels such as stem cups and bowls. A six-character kaishu mark in one line by the rim of a Xuande period bowl. In its purest sense, the reign mark indicates that the particular piece was made during the time of and for the court of that particular emperor. There are two types of Chinese ceramics — guanyao porcelain made in the Imperial kilns for the royal court and minyao porcelain made in commercial kilns for the people.
Both types of porcelain can bear reign marks, however, as the imperial kilns employed calligraphers who specialised only in the writing of these marks, guanyao marks tend to be of a much higher and more consistent aesthetic quality, and nowadays seen as more valuable.
It can be said that the majority of items on the market bearing reign marks are not of the period they are claiming to be. That does not necessarily mean that the particular piece is a modern fake, as it is not uncommon for a piece to bear the mark of an earlier emperor. For example, a vast number of Kangxi period pieces bear Chenghua marks because he was revered in the 18 th century for high quality of his imperial porcelain. And many 19 th century pieces are adorned with Qianlong period marks as a reference to the exquisite standard of the porcelain produced at that time.
An apocryphal Chenghua six-character mark on a Kangxi-period blue and white bowl. Being able to recognise the style of these marks and combining it with an assessment of the rest of the decoration is a key tool in helping one to determine the date of a piece. For example, knowing that it is rare to find a Kangxi mark in zhuanshu seal-script during the Kangxi period will help you identify the piece as 19 th century or later.
Or the fact that marks which are stamped rather than hand-painted are more commonly found in later 19 th century and 20 th century porcelain, so seeing a piece bearing a stamped Qianlong mark would point towards a later date. An iron-red stamped Qianlong six-character seal mark on a 20th century famile rose vase.
It must be said that some perfectly genuine pieces will not have reign marks, or perhaps will not have a mark altogether. Knowing this information can also be incredibly useful — for example, the early part of his reign, it is believed that Kangxi emperor issued edicts restricting the use of his reign mark for all but the best imperial wares, so instead, potters made do with replacing the mark with auspicious emblems such as an artemisia leaf, ruyi sceptres, rabbits, beribboned scrolls, or ding censers, or even just an empty double circle.
These restrictions were eventually loosened, so Kangxi mark and period pieces can still be found today. A Kangxi period artemisia leaf mark on a blue and white dish. This means that the piece was made during the reign of the emperor of whose mark it bears. When presented with a piece of porcelain, a true connoisseusr will take into consideration not only the reign mark, but also the overall shape, design, and quality of the porcelain to determine its age. You must be logged in to post a comment.
Home Latest Updates Forum Valuations. Your guide to antique pottery marks, porcelain marks and china marks. Chinese Porcelain Reign Marks.
In the world of Ming and Qing dynasty art, knowing how to look at a reign mark is a key asset for any collector, specialist, or enthusiast to correctly identify the date and the value of a piece of Chinese porcelain.
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Mark and Period: An Introduction to Chinese Qing Dynasty Porcelain Marks
Jasmine Holt October 12, pm Log in to Reply. Cancel reply You must be logged in to post a comment. She is currently providing specialist services to various auction houses and enjoys sharing her knowledge through writing for Antique-Marks.There are virtually thousands of Chinese porcelain marks. It is impossible to provide any sufficient number of mark samples for those of you looking for porcelain marks to compare with any marks that you may have on your antique China porcelain.
Need to know the reign names of Chinese emperors for researching porcelain marks? Compare the Chinese characters in your antique pottery and porcelain marks to the reign names of the Ming and Qing emperors in Chinese. To those of you who headed directly here from an internet search - do yourself a favour and read these mark related pages first. They will help you understand why marks can not be used to identify Chinese porcelain. The marks below are grouped according to the dynasty, but reign marks are listed in random order, independent from the actual reign order during that dynasty.
Also, please note that on Chinese porcelain often apocryphal marks are found; some of the marks were taken from shards and we could not verify the period of the item itself. Example: If a Kangxi mark was found on a Guangxu period item, then it is stated to be 'apocryphal', or 'not of the period'.
Mark and period items were not the rule in ancient China. Later reigns often used reign marks of earlier emperors, on Chinese porcelain, etc. Marks listed below are from antiques that are about 80 years old or older.Pyqt5 button
That means from approximately or earlier. Marks on vintage and contemporary porcelain items are not included. Note: the double ring mark was originally a Kangxi mark, but was extensively copied on export porcelain during the Guangxu reign. Chinese Porcelain Marks There are virtually thousands of Chinese porcelain marks.
Ebook Introduction to Chinese Porcelain.
Chinese Porcelain Reign Marks Identification
Pictorial marks were mainly used in the Ming dynasty and the Kangxi reign of the Qing dynasty, but normally they were in blue. Typical Kangxi period mark used on Guangxu porcelain, late Qing copy of early Qing Chinese porcelain mark. Late Qing dynasty. Frequently found on old Fangge porcelain copies made in the late Qing or early republic period. This specific type of vase is frequently encountered among late Qing and early republic porcelain.Localbitcoins bech32
The mark should be read from top to bottom, and from right to left — not the traditional, western approach of left to right. Experts believe that this tradition began with Chinese artisans writing on long, thin strips of bone or bamboo. Some reign marks can be made of up two or three horizontal lines of six or four characters. All marks will still be read from the right to the left. Characters 1 and 2 represent the dynasty in which the item was made. This will translate as Da Ming constructed between and or Da Qing constructed between and This ties in with characters 3 and 4.
Four-character reign marks simply omit the first two characters recording the name of the dynasty. Reign marks were in common usage at the beginning of the Ming dynasty and continued throughout the subsequent Qing dynasty Although reign marks were used into the 20th Century, there was a short period that they were forbidden to be used.
Inthe Kangxi Emperor issued an edict that banned the use of reign marks that bore his name. This was a precaution, in case delicate porcelain was broken or discarded, so potters painted a precious or an auspicious object within two double circles such as a Jui, lingzi, rabbit or ruyi head.
Alternatively the two double circles were left blank. During the time of the Yongzheng Emperor —seal-form reigns mark became popular. These can also be found on 19th and 20th Century Chinese porcelains. This style of marking is known as zhuanshu script, whereas the more traditional character reign marks are called kaishu script.
Kaishu script dates as far back as the Sui dynasty, which began in AD. Kaishu script is what most of us think of when we picture Chinese characters. Zhuanshu, meanwhile, looks more angular in style.
Zhuanshu is actually older than kaishu, dating back to the Shang dynasty of — BC. Zhuanshu underwent a resurgence in popularity during the 18th Century. Regardless of the script, reign marks are usually applied in one of two ways. An underglaze mark of cobalt blue is common. If this is not the case, an enamel reign mark will appear over the glaze. These could have been impressed or incised, and the colour palette could include paler shades of blue, black or iron red. The first place to look for a reign mark on a Chinese piece of porcelain is the bottom of the item.
If you do not see a reign mark here, check the mouth of the item, or the exterior of the base. Reign marks should help to date and value a Chinese artefact. Unfortunately, forgeries have been produced that include reign marks to fool collectors.
To understand if a piece is genuine you need to consider the quality of the workmanship. If a piece was made for an Emperor, everything about it should be flawless — including the reign mark. A hasty, faded or poorly applied reign mark is an immediate red flag. Not all poor-quality reign marks are forgeries, however.This chart shows the relative length and sequence of the various period during the Qing Dynasty The Shunzhi Emperor's given name was Fulin.
Born in March 15, he was the second emperor of the Manchu Qing dynasty and the first Qing emperor to rule over China proper. Only six when he ascended the throne the Shunzhi reign lasted from to The eighteen years of his reign brought great changes to China and its history. Genuine Shunzhi period marks are rare if they indeed exist at all.
To the left: Kaishu normal script style, to the right zhuanshu archaic seal scriptpossibly not occuring on any porcelain before the Yongzheng period. However, a rumor has it that he instead, heartbroken by his young wife's death, had left the forbidden city to become a Buddhist monk. Xiaoling in located at Malanyu, northwest Zunhua, Hebei Province, kilometers from Beijing and is the East burial complex of the Qing dynasty. In some of the underground palaces were blown open by warlord Sun Dianying and looted, why the tombs have suffered severe damages.
He was born May 4, as the son of the late Emperor Shunzhiwho died in his early twenties and his mother, the 14 year old Imperial Consort Tonga concubine from the Tongiya clan - He was the second emperor of the Qing dynasty to rule over all of China. His reign lasted 61 years, from February 7, until his death December 20,making him the longest-reigning Emperor of China in history.
The Kangxi era, that is counted as full Chinese years, lasted from February 18, to February 4, The Kangxi Emperor succeeded the imperial throne at the age of seven, on February 17,twelve days after his father's death. Being too young to take power himself, the control over the empire was fulfilled by four guardians and his grandmother the Dowager Empress Xiao Zhuangthat the Shunzhi Emperor had appointed before his death to rule during Kangxi's minority.
However, after a fierce power struggle one of them, Oboiseized absolute power as a sole regent. In the spring of the Kangxi rulers ordered a massive attempt to gain control over the largely Ming loyalist southern China under the leadership of Zheng Chenggong also known as Koxingasomething that involved moving the entire population of the coastal regions of southern China, inland.
At age 15 the Kangxi emperor had Oboi arrested in and began to take control of the country himself. Of major concerns was the flood control of the Yellow River, the repairing of the Grand Canal and the Revolt of the Three Feudatories which broke out in in the south of China, and also the Chakhar Mongols rebellion in In the Kangxi government mediated a truce in the long-running war in Vietnam, which had been going on for 45 years with nothing to show for it.
In the South the incorporation of the region went so far that in the Qing Dynasty annexed Taiwan, the last outpost of Koxinga. Soon afterwards, the displaced families were encouraged to move back towards the coast.
All these campaigns and many more took a great toll on the treasury. From Kangxi period's peak during the last decades of the 17th century the treasury shrunk to a tenth or less, by the end of his reign. Corrupt officials were also quite noticeable in the final years of Kangxi.Flaccid paralysis used in a sentence
The problem of dealing with this as well as the civil war in Tibet was left with some advices, to the future emperor. Eventually, through the long years of Kangxi's reign factions and rivalries had formed at the court. The Kangxi Emperor had 20 sons surviving into adulthood. After that his mother had died in childbed giving birth to him, he was brought up personally by the Kangxi Emperor to become the perfect heir to the Imperial throne.
Yinreng did not however prove co-operative.When faced with the mystery of an unknown object there are many aspects to consider including, color, form, decoration, and material. Assessing the age, authenticity, and ultimately the value of a piece of Chinese porcelain can be as simple as a glance or take months of study.
Learning the different cues and clues that can help identify a piece takes time and effort. The best way to learn about any pieces including Chinese wares is to study them in person. To learn the most from handling real objects it is necessary to also conduct personal studies of historic, aesthetic, and functional factors surrounding the production of porcelain.
Chinese porcelain marks come in many different forms. Many marks are honorific, looking back to an earlier period in Chinese porcelain production that at the time was viewed as more desirable. Marks on Chinese porcelain pieces most commonly display the dynasty and the reign during its time of production. This article is a brief introduction to some of the Qing Dynasty marks that are most commonly seen on Chinese Porcelain. These are not the only types of marks for these reigns but are examples of many of the most commonly seen marks.
This article will be followed up with more detailed examinations of specific period marks, check back to find these or follow us on. Kangxi At 61 years, Kangxi holds the title of the longest reigning emperor in Chinese history.
Wealth and power are two words that describe this reign. His reign was the foundation for more than a century of political and economic stability in China leading to large growth in artistic production. The Yongzheng Emperor was a lover of art, and he also grew the state treasury to greater heights than that achieved by his father the Kangxi Emperor. His love of art and his works in this capacity were incredible and economic and cultural growth in his reign was great.
By the end of his reign, China began to experience troubles due to corruption and poor management; this led to the ultimate decline of the Qing. A common mistake made in underglaze blue Qianlong six character marks is visible on the bottom left character, on the modern piece there are only three prongs while on the period piece there are five.
This does not always signify authenticity. Son of the Qianlong Emperor, his efforts to reverse the corruption in the Qing Dynasty included attempts to ban the importation of opium into China. Economic decline was a marker of his reign.
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