by Jan-Erik Nilsson

Antique Chinese and Japanese Porcelain
Collectors' Help and Info Page

Welcome to and more than 2,500 FREE help and information pages on Antique Chinese and Japanese porcelain. More then 1,500 translated and dated porcelain marks. An extensive glossary with 830 entries explaining Chinese and Japanese Antique Pottery and Porcelain terms. Important classic articles and documents on Chinese porcelain history. New and old travelogues to important places in ceramic history. Welcome to search and read through hundreds of Question & Answer pages. If you need personal help, send your question directly to me. If you are a collector, welcome to join our Antique Chinese and Japanese Porcelain Collectors' Discussion Board. Specialist or beginners equally welcome. Sign Up here, and start posting your own questions or do your own research among our 360,000+ old posts and pictures and much more. Have fun. If you get stuck or need commercial advice, you can email me, for a quick reply.

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Jan-Erik Nilsson, quick email consultation, 2021

If you need a quick advise on any Chinese or Japanese porcelain related question like - what is it - if you should buy it - sell it - if it is fake or real, you are welcome to e-mail me directly at
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Chinese and Japanese Porcelain Marks section

Chinese and Japanese Porcelain Mark

Free - Featuring more than 1,500 more translated and dated Chinese and Japanese Porcelain Marks.
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Join our Discussion Board - Ask when you need, help when you can Discussion Board Moderators JE and Tommy meet up Expert moderated. Post your own questions - unlimited participation, no spam, no advertising, no Google indexing, no tracking - or do your own research among our 360,000+ old posts, comments and pictures of antique Japanese and Chinese porcelain. Our archive has taken more than twenty years to put together, and I don't think anyone will beat that anytime soon. Specialists or beginners are equally welcome. Subscribe at $9.95 USD per month, or a full year at only $29 USD.

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Our Discussion Board is a world class resource for collectors of Chinese and Japanese porcelain, to meet others with similar interest, to discuss our own collections and new acquisitions. We also take an active interest in teaching beginner collectors and trying to pass on hard to get practical experience to the next generation. The road to knowledge should be traveled in good company. Global and worldwide group of friends and a place where we all are equal but in different stages of learning.

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Today 05:58am That is a lovely piece. I like the border effect. Interesting to see it has ...

Today 05:19am Dear JE An excellent thread. Kind regards Evan ...

Today 02:13am Highly probable to be mammoth ivory. I see what I think are shregger lines. ...

Today 02:10am Hi Mike, I also thought the same but couldn't really see it properly wh ...

Today 01:58am In the second and third photographs, I think I can see the criss-crossed Sc ...

Today 01:57am One final thing I forgot to mention is the carving itself. The Japanese wer ...

Today 01:51am Hi Cliff, There is a club call They are very good with ivor ...

Today 01:38am Thanks, Mark! Best, Cliff ...

Today 01:28am Hi Cliff, Here is one of mine. It's a bottle by a well-known and highly ...

Today 01:13am Hi Mark, Thanks - I will post if I find any bottles of this exact shape. ...

What our members say


Antique Chinese and Japanese Porcelain Dictionary and Glossary

Antique Chinese and Japanese Porcelain Dictionary and Glossary of Terms, explained and illustrated. Visit Glossary.

Q&A Porcelain Information

Large Q&A Porcelain Info Section with pictures of Chinese and Japanese porcelains, popular styles, shapes and decorations. Please see Ask a Question on how to summit your own questions. For collectors with a wide interest in learning and discussing Chinese and Japanese ceramics, please welcome to join our Discussion Board.

100 Best Books List of recommended books on Antique Chinese porcelain

An ever growing list of recommended books on antique Japanese and Chinese Pottery and Porcelain. There are many good books out there. This section will just show a few recent and a few classic books that in my view deserve a place in any collector's library.

The Swedish East India Company, Trading to China 1731-1813 The Swedish East India Company, Trading to China 1731-1813

Trade, ships, wrecks, ceramics and Marine Archaeology. On-going and past.

Stories and Visits to China, at the Gotheborg Porcelain Collector's Help and Info Page


The Swedish exhibition of Chinese pottery and porcelain in the 'Forbidden City' (Gugong), Beijing 2005

Ru ware Rhoss Museum Gothenburg Sweden

During September to December 2005 a Swedish sponsored exhibition of Chinese pottery and porcelain was held at the Wumen Exhibition Hall in the Forbidden City (Old Palace - Gugong - Museum) in Beijing.

The exhibition highlighted the long history of peaceful relations and cultural exchange between Sweden and China, from J G Anderssons discovering the Chinas Neolithic past to The East Indiaman Gotheborg ship excavation, rebuilding and new China voyage.

The exhibition focus on fairly ordinary 18th century Chinese porcelain exported to the West but also highlight Neolithic pottery and some Imperial wares, from a rare example of Ru ware in the Röhss Museum Collection to Chinese Armorial porcelain and special porcelain made to order of the Swedish East India Company. Welcome to browse the on-line version of the catalog here.

The Tang 'Belitung' or Batu Hitam) shipwreck of ca 830, exhibition in Singapore 2016

The Belitung (Tang or Batu Hitam) shipwreck sank on its way back from China around 830 AD. The ship contained untold treasures of gold and silver and the first Chinese underglaze blue and white dish known to mankind.

A large proportion of the most important finds were exhibited at the Asian Civilisation's Museum in Singapore, in 2016.

Travels and Visits to China

Visits and Travels

A study expedition to Jingdezhen with Professor Bo Gyllensvärd, in 1992

Chang River banks in Jingdezhen. Photo: © Jan-Erik Nilsson, 1992

Only a few yards from this spot at the river banks of the Chang River, flowing through the city of Jingdezhen, the Chinese Imperial kiln was built during the Yuan dynasty. During 700 years this factory produced the best porcelain in the world and became the porcelain factory of the entire world well into the 18th century.

During the centuries all kinds of Chinese porcelain shards and kiln debris has been dumped and discarded as the city grew. So much in fact that the city of Jingdezhen are now said to rest on a thick layer of porcelan shards, 30 feet deep or more in places, we were told.

In 1992 I was invited invited to take part in a study expedition to visit the excavations of the former Imperial Porcelain Kiln, together with Professor Bo Gyllensvärd and two friends. Here is my diary and some of the results and photos from the visit.

Click here to visit my report from Visit to Jingdezhen 1992
Text & Photo © Jan-Erik Nilsson.

A Visit to the old Nanfeng kiln in Shiwan, Fushan city near Guangzhou (Canton), 2006

Visit to the Shiwan kilns near Canton (Guangzhou), China, in 2006

During 2006 I had the pleasure to, together with the Gotheborg III Ship project friends and co-founders Anders and Berit Wästfelt, visit Guangzhou and also take the opportunity to visit the not much visited but very important city of Fushan and the Nanfeng kilns in Shiwan. The staple town for tea and porcelain enamels during the 18th century.

This is the origin of the old Kwangtung wares and the heavily glazed tiles, pots and masterly sculpted figures. Well known from late Ming, popular during Qing and very much alive until today.

Welcome to visit Shiwan with me.

The East Indiaman Gotheborg III Ship, in Guangzhou, 2006

The Swedish East Indiaman Gotheborg III arrives in China July 2006, Photo: Jan-Erik Nilsson, 2006

The 17th of July 2006 the rebuilt replica of the first 'East Indiaman Götheborg' arrived at Boca Tigris in the Pearl River delta outside Canton, to later move up to the old anchorage at 'Whampoa', to come to rest opposite the White Swan Hotel in the center of today's Guangzhou (Canton).

During the last part of the trip HRH the King and Queen of Sweden joined the crew on-board.

The entire project of recreating an 18th century Swedish East Indiaman and sending her to China again and back was all started as a private project by a small group of enthusiastic professionals, based on the excavation of the original East Indiaman Gotheborg.

Since I was one of them, here is my story on the [ PROJECT ] and the [ ARRIVAL IN GUANGZHOU ].
Jan-Erik Nilsson

Walking the streets of old Canton. Visit to Guangzhou in 2006

Photo: Jan-Erik Nilsson

In July 2006 the rebuilt Swedish East Indiaman 'Gotheborg' Ship finally arrived in Guangzhou, China, or Canton as it was known as during the time of the Swedish East India trade.

Since I had been involved in the starting of the project to build and sail a full scale replica of the East Indiaman Götheborg to China, I also really wanted to explore the City of Canton to see what was left from the early days of the China trade, when we eventually arrived. To my help to use as a map, I had a rare Chinese export porcelain dish - with its main motif, a painting of the old City of Canton ...

The dish in itself is from the end of the 18th century but portrays the inner part of the city, behind the European factories located at the river side.

The exact source for this painting still remain to be found, but in the collection of the China Castle in Stockholm, Sweden, dating to the 1740s there is an album leaf which shows a high degree of similarities. [ more ]

Malacca - the historic port of exchange of old West and Inter Asian trade

Visit to Malacca, Malaysia in May 2002

In May 2002 I mentioned to some friends in Singapore, that I was planning to visit Southeast Asia again to among other things visit the very important historic trade city of Malacca on the west coast of Malaysia,

The pace of life in Singapore is fast and one hour later I got a call back. Everything was arranged. They would take the day off and if I could sleep for four hours after arrival in Singapore we would leave for Malacca by car at 4 am in the morning, so we would lose the morning traffic and have better driving temperature and that it would only take some three hours of driving anyway ...

So, I arrived after some 20 hours of air flight from Sweden via Amsterdam. A few hours later I was whisked off to Malaysia - still fast asleep - to wake up to breakfast and Kopi-O (black coffee without milk) just a few hundred meters from where a beautiful Ming princess and her tourage was set ashore to marry the Sultan of Malacca some 500 years earlier. Which was one of the reasons why I wanted to see this place ...

Click here to follow me to Malacca, Malaysia, in May 2002.
Text & Photo © Jan-Erik Nilsson.

Visit to old Terracotta Pottery Kiln in Bali, 2012

Visit to old Terracotta Pottery Kiln in Bali

A while ago I visited Bali in an attempt to look for traces of the old Majapahit Kingdom.

While the historic center of the Majapahit Kingdom had been located at the eastern end of the just nearby Java Island, Bali was to me of equal interest. Somewhat I also hoped that more of the old culture would had remained through the Buddhist and Hindu traditions, still predominant in Bali since much of the actual downfall of the Majapahit had been contemporary with Islam becoming the dominating belief on Java.

What I found was a beautiful Island, fairly modern and very friendly, and a local Terracotta Pottery and Kiln, still very much functioning, putting out large terracotta Jardinières for flowers and garden decorations. In was interesting to see how these large pots were made from the mud up to finished lead glazed pots, taller than men.

Visit Bali with me.

Visit to Singapore and Hong Kong, March 2001

Fake Chinese Porecelain for sale in Hong Kong

During March 3-12, 2001 I had the pleasure of visiting Singapore and Hong Kong. The purpose of the visit was to deepen my understanding of the Straits Chinese Porcelain and the related culture.

I also wanted to study 19th and 20th century Chinese porcelain, products of less known "provincial" trade porcelain kilns in Southern China, and to get a first hand impression on the trade in antique Chinese porcelain fakes, to visit several important scholars and collectors in the area, to learn and to take part of their specific knowledge.

Here is a short travel report to summarize some of my thoughts.

Click here to read the report from my Visit to Singapore and Hong Kong, March 2001
Text & Photo © Jan-Erik Nilsson.

Visit to Sten Sjöstrand off Tioman Island Malaysia, Sept. 2001

Porcelain salvage storage

In September 2001 I got an invitation to visit the base camp of Sten Sjöstrand's marine archaeological and salvage expedition in Malaysia. I did and I am back. After a much needed shower and some rest I put together the following report.

I got to see piles of Si-Satchanalai (Sawankhalok district, Sukhothai) pieces, still in storage from the excavation of the Royal Nanhai 16th century cargo of Celadon ceramics - plus the very reason of my visit - a surface sample collection from the recently discovered 19th century and possibly "Straits Chinese" cargo. Now that can't be said to have been the case, but it was interesting anyway.

An underwater visit to the Desaru wreck site, Malaysia 2000

Click here to read my letter to the friends on the Gotheborg Discussion Board after my Visit to Sten Sjöstrand off Tioman Island, Malaysia, Sept. 2001
Text & Photo © Jan-Erik Nilsson.

Classics and Documents

Classics and Documents

Frank B. Lentz visit to Jingdezhen November 1920

Frank B. Lenz visit to Jingdezhen November 1920

In November 1920, immediately after that the Chinese Empire had fallen and the Imperial Porcelain Factory had been turned into a private venture, Frank B. Lenz visited Jingdezhen.

His report was published together with photos by the author, in the November 1920 issue of The National Geographic Magazine.

This entire article is available here.

"Twenty Illustrations of the Manufacture of Porcelain", by Tang Ying in 1743, Full text and modern photo illustrations.

A Chinese porcelain potter in Jingdezhen 1992. Photo: Jan-Erik Nilsson, 1992

This is one of the most important original documents on the manufacturing of porcelain ever written. Tang Ying was the most famous of all superintendents of the Imperial Porcelain factory in Jingdezhen, active during 1736-1753.

The translation was made by S. W. Bushell in 1899. Since the original pictures from 1743 are lost, I have illustrated the text with pictures - where applicable - taken by me, in 1991 and 1992, when I had the privilege of spending a few weeks in Jingdezhen together with Professor Bo Gyllensvärd where I could study the porcelain potteries as they were still running.

Letters of Père d'Entrecolles 1712 and 1722

Letters of Père d'Entrecolles 1712 and 1722

The Letters of Père d'Entrecolles (1664-1741) here for the first time translated, commented and available in full on-line.

Being a French Jesuit missionary while spending some time in Jingdezhen Father d'Entrecolles got to know the porcelain industry of the early 18th century well. His reports was sent to and published in Europe in 1712 and 1722.

These two Letters of Pere d'Entrecolle are the most important accounts we have on the Chinese porcelain manufacturing in the early Qing dynasty and is important to understand for the authentication of antique porcelain.

Chinese Porcelain Collector's Help and Info Page

Antique Chinese Porcelain Questions and Answers

Q&A Porcelain Info Section with pictures of Chinese and Japanese porcelains, popular styles, shapes and decorations. This is a sample selection of our replies to our visitors emailed questions. These plus our Dictionary and porcelain Marks section are all searchable via the Search box. Please see Ask a Question on how to submit your own questions. For collectors of antique Chinese and Japanese ceramics wanting a community of friends to talk to, welcome to join our Discussion Board.

Chinese Porcelain Collector's Help and Info Page


Chinese Porcelain Collector's Help and Info Page

Antique Japanese Porcelain Questions and Answers

Chinese Porcelain Collector's Help and Info Page

The Ms. Sam Armijo Legacy; on: Occupied Japan

Chinese Porcelain Collector's Help and Info Page

Collector's Letters to the Editor


The sole purpose of all information found on list or web page are for entertainment or educational purposes only. All expressed opinions are my personal, based on photos and the owners submitted descriptions, and are not to be used for any financial or commercial decisions but for educational and personal interest only. By accessing the information offered at the list or web page you expressly agree that any use of the list or web page is at your own risk. expressly disclaim all warranties of any kind. Nor does make any warranty as to the results that may be obtained from the use of or as to the accuracy or reliability of any information obtained through the Discussion Board or web page. Any user must evaluate and bear the risk associated with the accuracy or lack thereof of any content published on the list or web page. You also agree that you will not upload or transmit any content to the list or web page that infringes any copyright or other proprietary rights of any party. By submitting content in any form you automatically grant or warrant that the owner of the content has expressly granted the royalty-free right and license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute and display such content in whole or part worldwide and/or to incorporate it in other works in any form, media, or technology now known or later developed for the full term of any rights that may exist in such content. is not responsible for any messages or their attachments intentionally or unintentionally violating any applicable local, state, national or international law, including but not limited to any regulations having the force of law. ALL CONTENTS ON THIS SITE ARE PROTECTED BY COPYRIGHT AND, WHERE APPLICABLE, OTHER INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS. NO PORTION OF THE INFORMATION ON THIS SITE MAY BE REPRODUCED MODIFIED, PUBLISHED, UPLOADED, POSTED, TRANSMITTED, OR DISTRIBUTED IN ANY FORM, OR BY ANY MEANS, WITHOUT PRIOR WRITTEN PERMISSION FROM GOTHEBORG.COM, AND NOTHING CONTAINED HEREIN SHALL BE CONSTRUED AS CONFERRING BY IMPLICATION, ESTOPPEL OR OTHERWISE ANY RIGHT UNDER ANY TRADEMARK OR COPYRIGHT OF GOTHEBORG.COM OR ANY THIRD PARTY.

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