I recently picked this vase up from a lady who claims to have bought it at auction some 18 years ago. I have attached some pictures. There is a joint that could be felt on the inside about 6 inches from the top (you can see the joint in picture). The vase is about 17.5 inches high and has no markings that I can see.
Any information on this piece would be appreciated as I we love it and would like to know its background.
The vase is, as you surely already know of Chinese porcelain and with a decoration in traditional cobalt underglaze "blue and white".
The trade have usually no regrets calling this 19th century but the fact is that this beautiful and well decorated vase really should be dated to the latter part of the 20th century.
First of all the vase is decorated in such a way that is has one clear "front side" and one obvious "back side". This one feature puts this and all similar vases safely in the 20th century.
The extremely well painted bird is also decorated in a very characteristic way with even shades of blue and, distinct outlines. If you look very closely at these outlines you will probably notice that they have not caused an even "ditch" in the glaze during the firing, but also a series of really minute pinholes along these outlines, visibly at a really close inspection.
I am uncertain about what have caused this effect, but after seeing some porcelain decorating on site in Jingdezhen, my best guess is that this is caused by some kind of perforated paper being used for stenciling the outlines of the decoration on the unglazed porcelain body leaving a dotted line which together with the actual brush strokes gives this effect.
The nice and sharply molded ear on the vase, as well as the pinholes in the glaze of the porcelain body is well worth memorizing for further references.
All in all I would say that this kind of vases do seems to have been made from the late 19th century but that this one seems to be more recent then that.
One final reason for this being it would not have been this good if it had been earlier :-)