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Large blue and white bowl, with Chenghua mark and carved or impressed decoration

From the looks of this bowl, this appears to be a good, Qing dynasty, Kangxi (1662-1722) period piece. Kangxi period porcelain can sometimes be hard to separate from their Ming dynasty, Chenghua (1465-87) counterparts but for one thing, only some decorations appeared on Chenghua porcelain and the sizes are mostly different, since among the Chenghua period porcelain, the pieces was quite often rather small.

However, considering the price genuine Chenghua (1465-87) pieces fetch, it is of outmost importance (for the seller) to not make any mistakes in the attribution. The well-rounded and carefully polished, high foot rim is similar to pieces from both periods. The small "pinholes" in the glaze of the base is more likely to be found on Kangxi pieces, though.

An important factor is the rim border decoration, which is typical of the Kangxi period. The cut, or impressed, decoration based on the pattern of woven silk, on the outside, also gained in popularity on the more expensive pieces during the first decades of the 18th century.

The mark which reads "Da Ming Chenghua Nian Zhi" (Ming, Chenghua 1465-87 period) are not unusual on Kangxi pieces, and are written in a calligraphic style that is typical on Kangxi period pieces from the middle part of the Kangxi period.

All in all this appears from the photos to be an actual Kangxi (1662-1722) period piece, however I need to warn that this piece would need an experts personal inspection to tell if it is a very clever fake or the real thing. The mark and the over all appearance looks right, though. I think for yourself, if you take a close look I think if this bowl is in general heavy with thick walls, chances are that there might be a problem with it. If it instead is light and with thin walls that the light easily shines through, in particular where the impressed decoration is, chances are that it is genuine.

But, as I said, please show this to any of your local expert antiques dealers who will know how to tell the difference from handling it.

Jan-Erik Nilsson