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Is this real?

Yuan / Early Ming style pear shaped vase I bought a Vase on eBay (I know - not the best idea) that was advertised as a Late Yuan Vase.

Being brand new to Chinese porcelain altogether, I am wondering if you could help determine its authenticity. The dealer says the piece is authentic, and, as seen on the bottom of the piece in the picture, there is a red wax seal that the dealer states is a seal from the "China culture relic authority" (I've never heard of this before).

Other items of information in the description the dealer supplied: the design is a blue under-glaze, the vase originated from the Jingdezhen kilns, the vase is 8-sided, each with a flower pattern, and they call it a YuHuChun Vase, from the Yuan dynasty.

Just from reading up on your site, I feel relatively confidant that the piece is Chinese, due to the natural reddish-brown color of the unglazed area of the base. Other than that, I am completely going on the word of the dealer.

Are they right? I have enclosed several views of the vase for your inspection. Any help you could offer would be GREATLY appreciated. I was planning to give this as a gift this weekend to a friend who is of Asian descent - even though I like the design of this vase, I would feel better if I knew it was truly representative of my friend's heritage, and would like to confirm it's age.

What is the best way to learn to tell copies from originals?

Thank you so much for the info. It does not surprice me that the vase is a copy - the price was very low. The dealer that I bought it from actually lived pretty close to me, so I got to meet him - he was very knowledgeable and showed me a lot of books.

He had many pieces that had the seal and similar tags on them. He really seemed to believe that they were all genuine, although he said that he got them cheap over the years in China.

He showed me some certificate in characters that he claimed was a certification by a Chinese museum - but who knows. He would tell me how the pieces he sold on ebay were really worth a lot more than he sold them for. I kept wondering why he would continue to sell on ebay if he were getting so little - I guess I now know why.

Unfortunately, I un-wisely bid on a couple of his other items - but at least each piece was only $50US, so its not like I paid hundreds of dollars for each piece. I guess you get what you pay for?

Along the same lines - what is the best way to learn to tell copies from originals? The guy seemed very convincing, so I just took his word.

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This information is given as an example of private conversation only and is not intended to be used as a promotion of any individual piece. All opinions are the authors and are given as such with all hazards of judging anything from a photo.

Copyright © Jan-Erik Nilsson, Göteborg 2000.