Subject:Re: Very Antique Chinese Plate - Identifying Marks
Posted By: Bill H Wed, Aug 26, 2020
Sorry guys, but I'm going to have to stay my course. Tony Allen said in his 2013 book, 'Allen's Authentication of Later Chinese Porcelain (1796 AD-1999 AD)' that the brown glaze reminiscent of Batavian wares apparently was redeveloped in the Tongzhi Period (1862-74) and mastered in the Guangxu era (1875-1908). Subsequently, while addressing Batavian wares in his book, 'Allen's Antique Chinese Porcelain - The detection of Fakes', Allen wrote: 'At the end of the 19th century the café au lait ground was repeated, but most of these small cups and saucers are readily identified by the underglaze blue CHINA mark...or a four character Kangxi reign mark which they bear.’ He shows an example of a circa 1900 Batavian tea bowl with blue & white fish motif in the cavetto and with a mark of 'CHINA' on its white-glazed base. The book also shows some Japanese Batavian bowls, which imitation wares have the same blue & white fish decoration and with all-over brown glaze outside, including on the bases.
I've also combed through the Mainland China-published 'Compendium of Marks on Historical Chinese Ceramics' (Zhongguo Lidai Taoci Kuanzhi Dadian), which includes separate illustrated sections for various types of marks that don't consist of written characters or illegible factory marks. The apparent conch mark on LA's dish doesn't appear on any 19th century wares ascribed to the Tongzhi and Guangxu reigns. The Guangxu period is shown to have used marks of the 'Peach & Bat', 'Endless Knot', 'Grain Stalk', an unidentified flower, 'Dragons', and the 'Ingot, Brush & Scepter'.
So from the documentary standpoint, I think I have a decent case, and I can't see anything in particular about the porcelain itself that would weigh against the dish being Kangxi.