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Subject:Help Dating Statue
Posted By: Shea Sat, Jan 05, 2019 IP:

I haven't been able to find any other statues of the God of Longevity that are similar in decoration to this one. There is an impressed mark on the base that is very difficult (impossible for me) to discern. It appears to be old but I have no idea how old. Any help is appreciated.

Subject:Re: Help Dating Statue
Posted By: Bill H Sun, Jan 06, 2019

This figure of Longevity God Fukurokujin has a mark (shown upside down) which has come up in the forum previously on a large Japanese teapot (link) and a pair of Japanese dragon bookends that once graced my collection. Its two-stack character reading is 山口豆木, which appears to be pronounceable as "Yamaguchi Mameki", although Japanese inevitably has other transliterations that do not come up in the machine translators and dictionaries I use.

All three pieces I've seen heretofore with this mark used what seems to me to be the same tone of green glaze prominently in their palettes. My online research indicates that Japan's Yamaguchi Prefecture has a kiln center of the same name, which nowadays appears to be primarily known for hagi wares. There's a place far north of Yamaguchi called Mameki for which I have yet to find a pottery connection. Yamaguchi, of course, also is a surname. Perhaps some of our expert collectors and Japanese translators can pull this mark out of the fiery kiln.

Best regards,

Bill H.

URL Title :Yamaguchi Pottery

Subject:Re: Help Dating Statue
Posted By: Shea Sun, Jan 06, 2019

Bill, thanks once again for the information. I saw the other pieces posted under the prior discussion and your analysis of the mark and coloring appears to be spot-on. I hope you are right and others will chime in with any additional information they have.

Subject:Re: Help Dating Statue
Posted By: Shea Wed, Jan 23, 2019

Hi Bill,
The mystery has been solved. The statue is Vietnamese and the mark is found on Bien Hoa pottery. From what I've read, Bien Hoa has a long history in pottery and ceramics but had a revitalization, so to speak, in the early 20th century. I haven't found any clues on how to date the pottery because the mark is found on pieces dating from 50 years to 200 years or more. If I find any additional information, I will post another reply. | Associations | Articles | Exhibitions | Galleries |