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Subject:Very Antique Chinese Plate - Identifying Marks
Posted By: LA Mon, Aug 24, 2020 IP:


Could anyone please help me identifying this mark?

Thank you so much,

Best regards

Subject:Re: Very Antique Chinese Plate - Identifying Marks
Posted By: Bill H Mon, Aug 24, 2020

This Batavian dish has a mark with some variances from drawings in books, but I believe it may be the conch shell, iconic in Buddhism of the call to worship. My Mainland China-published compendium of markings on historical Chinese ceramics says such markings were in use from the Ming Tianqi (1621-1627) to Qing Kangxi (1662-1722) reigns. The floral decoration on the dish looks a great deal like motifs on some of the Kangxi wares I've handled or own.

Your dish also fits into the interval between the death of the Ming Wanli Emperor in 1620 until 1683, when Zang Yingxuan took charge if the Jingdezhen imperial kilns, which times are now known as the 'Transitional Period'.

Here are some photos of a Batavian shipwreck bowl I thought I'd show for comparison, though it probably is more contemporaneous of the Qianlong reign and the 'Nanking Cargo' salvaged by Hatcher.

Best regards,

Bill H.

Subject:Re: Very Antique Chinese Plate - Identifying Marks
Posted By: Mark Adams Mon, Aug 24, 2020

This mark along with others was used during the Kangxi period 1661-1722.
In my opinion your item is delightful. However I believe it to be a later piece from the guangxu period 1875-1908.
[email protected]

Subject:Re: Very Antique Chinese Plate - Identifying Marks
Posted By: Jonathan Tue, Aug 25, 2020

Kangxi mark but later. Likely mid 19th.

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.

Best regards,

Bill H. | Associations | Articles | Exhibitions | Galleries |