This page is only one of many thousands of Help and Information Pages, offering specialized knowledge on Chinese and Japanese Porcelain, including a Glossary, Q&A, Chinese and Japanese Porcelain Marks, Chinese Porcelain Exhibition and Excavation reports etc. For personal help and far more information, join our Discussion Board or use 'Ask a Question' for quick email consultations. For full text and better navigation, use a full-screen device rather than a mobile phone, that offers only limited content.

Crackled lidded jar with enamels

Crackled vase Since starting an interest in Chinese porcelain a year ago, I have tried to collect as many reference books and see as many exhibits as possible.

I've never come across a picture or painting of enamel work like this. It seems as if it must have been done for the domestic market since it is not very refined.

One dealer suggested that this was the "true" famille rose, the early glaze version which contained arsenic. It is 18 inches high and very heavily potted. It is crazed all over. Besides the chipping off the dog on top and on the dog heads on the shoulder, the piece is in excellent condition.

The dealer thought it could be Qianlong. I think it can be just about anything from Qianlong on. I didn't pay a large amount of money for it and I just enjoy it for what it is. But I am curious if you can offer up any more information. Your site is a very valuable research tool for a beginner like me.

Thank you for putting in all the effort.

Probably a late 19th century South Chinese ware

Unfortunately I can't tell you what your lidded jar really is, since I have never seen anything really similar to this before.

As my best guess I feel I would like to suggest that your jar could have been made in the south of China and around the turn of the century - possibly not earlier than during the late 19th century.

The reason for this is mostly the somewhat uncertain shape and the translucent enamels which does not really fit with a much earlier date, and the "old" style, which would not fit with a much later date either.

The paste is either not porcelain at all but some kind of softer paste, or has not been fired at a high enough temperature for it to become true porcelain in our meaning of it being a ringing, hard and translucent stoneware. This mostly occurred in south Chinese wares; especially those made for less demanding export destinations such as South East Asia or the West, by the turn of the 19th century.

An interesting possibility is that the jar actually could be Japanese, since this paste would fit much better with the paste traditionally used in Satsuma wares than anything else I could think of. The date would then be the same, but its "birthplace" would be different.

The general design as well as the presence of the Fo-dog on the lid also belongs to pieces from the late 19th/early 20th century as well as the spearhead border, which seems to have been made in an attempt to associate back to something originating earlier.

I would in any case like to congratulate you to an unusual and interesting collector's item, and hope this helps at least some, even if it is not possibly for me to give you a fully certain answer as to what your lidded jar really is.

Thank you for your interest.

Best regards,
Jan-Erik Nilsson