My husband has recently inherited two light blue Chinese vases. We know almost nothing about them, and we are desperate for information. Back in the mid 1960s they were examined by the Asian Art Museum in Seattle, WA. At that time they were said to be "valuable, but not yet priceless". The characters on the bases are red, in two rows of two with no border. They appear to be hand painted, not stamped. Unfortunately we do not have a picture of the bases. I did attempt to decipher them using your library of marks, but I'm afraid it was beyond me.
The vases are not identical, but very similar. One is 10¼ inches tall and about 13 inches around at it's widest point, the other is 10 inches tall and a hair over 13 inches around. They each have two oval pictures, a pheasant in a tree with flowers, and a rock and bamboo by a cliff with flowers. However, although the subjects are the same, the pictures are not. Different pheasants, different trees, etc. There are twelve small flowers or grasses on each - one above and below each oval and four running from neck to base between on either side. Same theme, different flowers. They are not solid blue, but have scrollwork running throughout.
Along with the vases is a very fragile piece of paper - in Chinese! This is the only available information. So far we have found no one familiar with the dialect. It is very frustrating. We have sent you a copy, in the hope that you may somehow find the time to help us.
Our current situation does not allow us to go out and search beyond our immediate area. Unfortunately, no one here has been able to help us. We cannot even get them appraised locally, as no one has any idea what they are or where they came from. We have had little to no help, and we are at the end of our rope! Please, sir, if you can shed any light at all on this subject, I simply cannot tell how much this would mean to us. I realize that you are terribly busy, but we would be extremely grateful for any help at all. We are desperate...
Your vases seem to be Guangxu (1875-1908) period to Early republic (1912-1949) in style i.e. very typical for the good quality porcelain that was made in China in and around the 1920-30s.
The marks from this period usually tells a great deal about the ambitions with the vases.
They are no "fakes" but just early 20th century and quite typical at that. Regarding any financial value I don't know that, but they do have some collector's value.
Thank you for your interest.