Subject:Re: Chinese Tea? container - help with mark
Posted By: Bill H Sat, Jun 06, 2020
The mark says 'Made during the Guangxu Reign of the Great Qing Dynasty' (Da Qing Guangxu Nian Zhi - 大清光緒年製) but is on a contemporary product, thus apocryphal, and not of the 1875-1908 period when this emperor ruled (under the thumb of the Empress Dowager Cixi). The flat look of the blue in the mark shows virtually no variation in texture that would have been left by a calligrapher's brush. This characteristic, as well as irregularities in the arabesque scroll around the cap, both indicate the piece probably is transfer-decorated, a 20th century process in China. Further, while this mark was copied from a standard version of one used during the reign, it is rather poorly centered within the foot rim, so constitutes an atypical lack of symmetry. Finally, the whiteness and relative flawlessness of the glaze leaves no doubt in my mind that this caddy is modern.
Here's one of my Guangxu period bowls with a typical "Minyao" (Popular Kiln" mark and look about it, flaws and all. However, it provides an excellent example of variations in brush pressure in a mark on a piece of Chinese porcelain that was decorated from start to finish entirely by hand.