About 6 years ago I purchased a very interesting piece of oriental pottery.
The piece is a hand wrought oriental warrior in full dress and defense mode. 11" in height, approx. 8" across. Beautiful glazes in pinks and turquoise greens. Very fine crazing and has two or three small missing pieces of the costume, plus a poor job of repair to 1 large section of the costume.
The body and limbs are in excellent condition. There is a looped wire at shoulder lever on the unglazed back. Also two perfectly round spots of the black glaze used on the delails of the figure on the back of the left leg.
The piece has a stamped, incised, square mark. I have researched everywhere that I can find, and the only thing that sounds remotely possible is that this is an antique decorative roofing piece or "tile".
Although the body is three-dimensional with the exception of the buttocks of the warrior. It is flattened to the same level of the raised arms and costume shoulder detail, and there are two round holes, one directly above the other on the flattened area.
These holes look as if they were used to position the piece to a particular spot or location on another object. Roof?
The mark is situated on back of the right shoulder detail. This is the poorly repaired section of the garment the that I mentioned earlier.
If you could help me in some way to determine age and or authenticity of my warrior I would so appreciate it.
If possible I could send you a clay craft impression of the mark. It is very interesting, could not get a picture of it with my scanner.
P.S.... Also keep in mind that my printer ink is messed up and will not give me the true colors. They are pinks and shades of turquoise green.
I have consulted Simon Ng in Hong Kong about the mark on your figure and he can only tell it is an artist's personal name seal.
From the glaze and general look of the piece I feel it is some kind of architectural embellishment. It is made in a style similar to Ming dynasty lead glazed funeral figures. I don't have much to compare with, but to me it seems to be a "God of War" from some kind of altar.
To give you a most likely date I would really prefer to put it in the "Late Qing Dynasty" i.e. to the last decades of the 19th century up until the first decades of the 20th century. Much older - or much later - is not very likely due to the style of the artists seal mark, the look of the pink and green enamels and the fact that it seems to be made out of a porcelain paste.
Without a personal inspection I am afraid this is as far as I can get on this, but whatever the details we might have missed here, you have a quite interesting piece.