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Subject:Help with old Chinese porcelain vase with text
Posted By: Mitko Tue, May 30, 2017 IP:

I have this small Chinese vase and was wondering if someone can help me with translation of the text on it or writing it in Chinese characters.
It is old and very nicely done vase. Also any opinions regarding its age are appreciated!
Best regards!

Subject:Re: Help with old Chinese porcelain vase with text
Posted By: Bill H Wed, May 31, 2017

At my age, I'm afraid to start a classical Chinese translation for fear I may lack the time to finish it. But, I have a book called "The Great Fortune",which covers Chinese and Japanese 19th and 20th century porcelain in the Georg Weishaupt collection. I include snippets from it relevant to your wall pocket as follows.

The red-robed figure shown above from your vase is Liang Gong, a palace secretary and general of the Tang Dynasty, He was a Chancellor under Wu Zetian (624-705), the wife of Emperor Gaozong, who succeeded on her husband's death as ruler from 690-705.

The right-hand panel in the middle photo above begins at the top right of the inscription and continues down and across to near the bottom of the third line as:

"Playing a bamboo pipe or riding on the back of a crane they (Wu Zetian and her courtiers) traverse the garden. All have cheeks that are red (for pleasure) as lotus blossoms. The nobles fight to lead the horse (of the empress), only Liang Gong smiles (does not flatter her, but dares to give her his opinion and thus to serve the state)."

I'm hopeful there may be others among us who can provide some flavor of the remainder.

Best regards,

Bill H.

Subject:Re: Help with old Chinese porcelain vase with text
Posted By: Mitko Fri, Jun 02, 2017

Thanks for your help Bill H- It is really helpful!
I am not sure how much text this translates to- but if it is an enormous work- don't bother!
I will be glad then If I know what is the text about in few words.
In fact this is a small vase, not a wall pocket and on the other side it has another figure- a man in blue robe sleeping- I am posting a picture of it. The porcelain is not of the best quality as it has many imperfections, like dots, bubbles, firing cracks etc in the glaze. The quality of the painting is very good while the calligraphy just looks amazing ( for this scale) to me. The vase is about 18cm high and the side panels are around 7cm high.

Subject:Re: Help with old Chinese porcelain vase with text
Posted By: JLim Tue, Nov 07, 2017

Dear Mitko

This is Cantonese famille rose. The fellow in blue looks an awful lot like the man in the pale blue robe in the Canton famille rose dish on p180 of Anthony Allen's latest book, which dates the object to c. 1850s.

I cannot tell, however, what date your object might be; it looks more modern than 1850s to me simply because the porcelain looks quite white and the calligraphy looks quite neat.

Kind regards
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