Gotheborg.com - The Antique Chinese Porcelain Collectors Page

Chinese Porcelain Marks

Jian Ding (Certified) Export Approval Seals

This seal is an "Export approval mark" and it is called a "Jianding". They have been issued from around 1949 and are still being put on any old looking porcelain which are to be allowed to be exported out of China. It does not guarantee anything except this.

The laws which are regulating this are two:

  1. Anything made before 1949 is considered a "cultural relic" and cannot be taken out of the country without a government seal and/or an officially chopped receipt.
  2. in China nothing can be legally purchased from an government antique shop that dates from Qianlong's reign or before (i.e. before 1795).

In practical use when applying these exports permits to pieces, and the answer you usually gets when asking around in China, is that no pieces older then 100 years gets this seal.

The seal is thus no GUARANTEE that the piece is antique. By law it could be made from 1795 up to absolutely modern. In practice it is most likely made in the mid 1920s up to the 1950s when the production of "antique looking Chinese porcelain" made with traditional methods were particularly intense and a great deal of the Chinese porcelain industry at large was surviving by making this kind of porcelain.

Originally there were two different state departments in charge of the exportation of antiques from China. It was the State Export Department, active between 1949-86 and the Cultural Relics Bureau, of which only the latter are still active.

Before the late 1980s there also seems to have been four main export bureaus, located in Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai and Guangzhou (Canton). After this time many provinces seems to have gotten their own export bureaus since from then on new seals have appeared from Hunan, Jijiang, Quangxi, Hebei etc.

So far only one instance is known where a seal (Mark 266 below) has been issued on anything older then mid 19th century and not even this is entirely certain. I will change this statement as soon as anything supporting a contrary view is availably.

Jian Ding (Certified) Export Approval Seals
439. "Jian Ding" (Certified Export approval seal mark). This type seems to have come into use in about 1997.

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Guangdong (Province)/Canton (Guan)

Guangdong (Province) 1 Jian Ding

410. Rubber stamped mark "Jian Ding" (Certified) Guan (Guangdong (Province)/Canton) 1", on ewer from around 1850's. This stamp mark was probaly issued by State Export Department, active between 1949-86.

Guangdong (Province) 1 Jian Ding

266. Rubber stamp mark "Jian Ding" (Certified) Guangdong (Province) 1. This stamp mark was issued by State Export Department between 1949-86. This stamp was discontinued in 1986.

Guangdong (Province) Cultural Relics Bureau #1

46. Jian Ding (Certified). Export approval seal mark. This seal is from Guangdong (Province) Cultural Relics Bureau #1, Guangdong (Canton) Province.

Guangdong (Province) Cultural Relics Bureau #1.

1080. Jian Ding (Certified). Export approval seal mark. This seal is from Guangdong (Province) Cultural Relics Bureau #1, Guangdong (Canton) Province.

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Guangdong (Province) Cultural Relics Bureau #2.

1212. Jian Ding (Certified) Guangdong (Province). Cultural Relics Bureau #2 (Guangdong (Province) = Canton). Export approval seal. A hard core communist area during the mid 20th century. Seal possibly in use at the time of the cultural revolution.

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Shanghai

Shanghai Cultural Relics Bureau #2.

1300. Jian Ding (Certified). Export approval seal mark from the Shanghai Cultural Relics Bureau #2. The single character preceding the numeral is the alternative or short name for 'Shanghai', the seal dating from the CCP era.

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Shanghai Cultural Relics Bureau #3.

1380. Jian Ding (Certified). Export approval seal mark from the Shanghai Cultural Relics Bureau #2. The single character preceding the numeral is the alternative or short name for 'Shanghai', the seal dating from the CCP era.

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Shanghai Cultural Relics Bureau #4.

276. Jian Ding (Certified). Export approval seal mark from the Shanghai Cultural Relics Bureau #4.

Beijing

Beijing Cultural Relics Bureau #1.

369. Jian Ding (Certified). Export approval seal mark from Beijing Cultural Relics Bureau. Late 20th century.

Beijing Cultural Relics Bureau #2.

295. Jian Ding (Certified). Export approval seal mark from Beijing Cultural Relics Bureau.

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306. "Jian Ding" (Certified Export approval seal mark) from the Curtural Relics Bureau in Beijing, with a paper sticker marked "Tienanman Square" probably indicating that this "relic" was bought in the Friendshop Store in Bejing. Style typical of the 1990's.

Tianjin

Tianjin First Cultural Relics Bureau.

511. "Jian Ding" (Certified) Tianjin First Cultural Relics Bureau. Export approval seal mark from Tianjin.

Tianjin Second Cultural Relics Bureau.

512. "Jian Ding" (Certified) Tianjin Second Cultural Relics Bureau. Export approval seal mark from Tianjin.

Zhejiang (Huan)

Zhejiang Cultural Relics Bureau.

334. "Jian Ding" (Certified) "Huan". Cultural Relics Bureau Export approval seal mark from Zhejiang. Huan is a short form of Zhejiang.

Suzhou (Su)

Su = Suzhou Cultural Relics Bureau 1

1496. The two larger characters says "Jian Ding" (Certified) and below that a small character "Su" and the number 1. This is the Suzhou Cultural Relics Bureau #1 Export approval seal where Su is a short form for Suzhou.

Unknown

WEN or NEW

1214. "WEN or NEW, read from right to left". Possible fake export approval seal mark. The item it was applied to appears to be an authentic Song dynasty bowl.

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Pictures and pieces making up this section are from my personal reference collection and are not for sale. Pieces have also been donated by Simon Ng, City University of Hong Kong, N K Koh, Singapore, Hans Mueller, USA. Hans Slager, Belgium, William Turnbull, Canada and Tony Jalin Zhang, Beijing. Readers are encouraged to contribute any insights or further information you might have. Any and dated Chinese Porcelain for sale can be offered to the gotheborg.com reference collection by e-mail to

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