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|Re: Re: New Edition Gerald Davison 'Marks on Chinese Ceramics'|
Posted By: Bill H
Posted Date: Dec 26, 2020 (02:55 PM)
Arun, The book layout will be in three main sections, two grouped by type of script used to write the marks (standard kaishu script and the seal script zhuanshu) and one featuring symbolic marks. The kaishu mark section begins with Imperial reign marks, then features subgroups ranging from one to nine or more characters, followed by date marks. The zhuanshu section also begins with reign marks, but the remainder are fewer in number, so are laid out simply in order of their increasing number of characters. The last group of date marks is followed by the directory, featuring information about each mark and available details of the potters, studios and history associated with them.
Users who may not read Chinese can learn to look up marks with a bit of practice in character recognition by comparing what they see on their dish with what is contained in the book. To ease this process, the more common four-character marks have been separated into subgroups by whether they are marked as Made for a Hall (Tang zhi 堂製), Made for a Studio (Zhai zhi 齋製) simply contain the character for Hall or Studio, or just end in ‘Made’ Zhi/製 or Zao/造. This process assumes most anyone can memorize the few basic characters shown in these four-character sections, and then apply them to the identification of almost any other mark in the book, starting the search with the mark's first character, usually found at its top right corner. However, zhuanshu marks will be a stretch for some, as they still are for me after dealing with the language for decades. The introduction contains additional explanations and etymological pointers from the author.
Hope this offers positive encouragement.
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