Subject:Re: Ming Export Polychrome Jar - Need Help
Posted By: Bill H Sun, Jan 21, 2018
Your jar is a decorative copy of one from the Ming Chenghua-era (1465-1487) collection of the Palace Museum in Taipei. In my opinion, it misses the mark on points of the overly opaque iron red--or perhaps iron red style--pigment that covers the lotus-leaf diapers; a "Tian" (Heaven) mark on the base that comes from a thinner brush than used for period marks shown in my late 20th century Chenghua Exhibition catalog; its base being uncharacteristically free of kiln flaws; and most grossly, by the presence of copious layers of filth, which the maker or seller could not resist adding to simulate age.
Apart from the celebrated Chenghua-period "chicken cups", such "Celestial Horse" jars are among the more famous doucai (contending colors) Ming porcelains in museum collections anywhere. They are especially well known in China, where a thriving cottage industry exists in small pocket-size books that illustrate historical porcelains for collectors hoping to make precious finds when trolling China's many antique markets. Actually, if the amount of it seen when trolling for finds myself is any indication, there must be cottage industries thriving somewhere to supply the people who dirty up what otherwise seem to be perfectly acceptable decorative porcelains.
Here from one of my references are images of doucai jars with Chenghua celestial horse and makara dragon motifs, along with pictures of a Chenghua-marked Kangxi-era reproduction of cups painted in a dragon-phoenix scroll using the typically more transparent colors of the Chenghua doucai palette.