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A real mystery

Vase with Fu-dog decoration in underglaze blue and white I recently inherited this vase from my granddad, and after looking on your website I am none the wiser about it and wondered if you can tell me anything about it.

It is 24" tall and has a large dragon on the side with a ball or a pumpkin in his mouth, he is in dark blue, there is also a couple of smaller dragons watching him.

There are 2 small handles on the neck and there is a band of brown around the top and bottom of the body that has been decorated, the stamp on the bottom has been carved into it.

This is a real mystery, can you help. I have sent a picture scan of the bottom and of the main body with the neck cut off, hope this helps

Vase with Fu Dog decoration

This vase with its brown dressed border is typical for a kind of porcelain, which was begun to be made during the Guangxu (1875-1908) period, by the end of the Qing dynasty.

The decoration is called "Dogs of Fu (happiness) or "Buddhist lions playing with a brocade ball".

The making of porcelain pieces similar to this vase seems to have been continued up until today.

The cracked paste of the foot rim indicates some difficulties with the potting though which could point towards a date close to the beginning of the 20th century, as does the fact that you have inherited the vase.

The clearness of the incised mark is interesting and distinctive, and if this mark could be connected to an early 20th century date, I believe this would be quite helpful.

There are several marks similar to this illustrated in the MARKS section under "20th century Chinese Porcelain" on this web site, to which I have added the mark of this vase.

Jan-Erik Nilsson