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Subject:Japanese Bulb vase
Posted By: Christian Tue, Oct 15, 2019 IP:

I was wondering if anyone could please help with the signature on this vase. Thank you very much in advance.

Subject:Re: Japanese Bulb vase
Posted By: Martin Michels Fri, Oct 18, 2019

The mark reads: Wanli 萬暦 Nian 年 Zhi 製 (Made in the Wanli period).
Wanli was a Ming emperor from 1573 till 1620.

I have no idea about the age of this item, I have to leave that to the Chinese porcelain experts of the forum.


Subject:Re: Japanese Bulb vase
Posted By: Christian Sat, Oct 19, 2019

Thank you very much Martin!! I doubt its 500 years old!! Thank you again!!

Subject:Re: Japanese Bulb vase
Posted By: Bill H Sun, Oct 20, 2019

Hi Martin,

I can certainly understand why you saw "Wanli" in the middle of that jumble of misshapen strokes, but it's actually an apocryphal kaishu version of "Made in the Qianlong Reign" (乾隆年製 - Qianlong Nian Zhi). Below is another view, PhotoShopped for a modicum of clarity.

This piece of Christian's looks to me to be a hybrid tulipiere, starting with a center neck that has been whittled down from those on most 19th-early 20th century versions I've seen, while leaving the rest of the topside round rims in the same configuration. See the second and third pictures for the earlier form of which I speak.

I flipped back through Liu Liang-yu's opus, "A Survey of Chinese Ceramics - Qing Official and Popular Wares" and found a Yongzheng tulipiere with the same short neck as Christian's vase but surrounding necks about half as high as the center one. The Yongzheng version and this vase's decoration around the middle neck and surrounding low rims (which motifs look like transfers) make me think this vase may be contemporary, with its lack of mini-necks around the outside being an economy measure to boost profits. However, I have seen other Chinese tulip vases made during the last couple of decades that do have additional necks, so my observation may not apply across the board.


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