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Subject:Tongzhi Cup - Mark and Period ?
Posted By: Peter Sun, Aug 22, 2021 IP:

I've just acquired a small cup bearing what appears to be a four character Tongzhi reign mark.

I'd be grateful to know whether my latest purchase is indeed likely from the Tongzhi period - or is more probably from a later production date. The reasons for deciding this fact would also be very much appreciated.

Any information or comments will be gratefully received.

Thanks in advance for any help.

Subject:Re: Tongzhi Cup - Mark and Period ?
Posted By: Mark Adams Mon, Aug 23, 2021

Hi Peter,
In my opinion your delightful looking cup is highly probable to be from the guangxu period 1875-1908. I write highly probable because there are no images of the interior.
My reasoning is that the foot rim looks very smooth. Genuine cups from the period would have had a rough footing.
This was due to the problems at the time with kilns etc. Due to upheaval and eratic politics during this reign. So rough foot is a good indicator (but not conclusive).
The problem was solved during the guangxu period.
The seal mark appears to be hand written rather than stamped. Stamped marks became widespread after about 1870. Which is a good sign.
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BTW: here is my genuine tongzhi chicken cup. Please note the foot rim.

Subject:Re: Tongzhi Cup - Mark and Period ?
Posted By: Peter Mon, Aug 23, 2021

Hello Mark. Many thanks indeed for your prompt and informative reply. I must also admit that the cup doesn't seem to be quite so crudely finished as some Tongzhi pieces I've seen.
I've attached a couple more pics, including the interior, which may well confirm your opinion.

Best regards.

Subject:Re: Tongzhi Cup - Mark and Period ?
Posted By: Peter Tue, Aug 24, 2021

Apologies for distorted third picture.I will download it once again.

Subject:Re: Tongzhi Cup - Mark and Period ?
Posted By: Mark Adams Tue, Aug 24, 2021

Hi Peter,
Thank you for your additional pictures.
It's difficult to determine whether this one guangxu or later.
The way the crane and single mandarin duck are very odd indeed.
I am now unsure.
Perhaps if Bill H is online he can offer his thoughts.
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