Dating Chinese Porcelain from Facial Features and Adornments – A HANDBOOK

By: Tommy Eklöf

Chinese Export Porcelain // Hand and Reference Books


This book is the result of years of original research, following a new line of thought when it comes to Chinese porcelain decorations. The observation is a simple one, that in creating decorations that involves people, the artists would somehow be considering the fashion of the day in their depictions.

Even if the figures in the decorations were not contemporary, Tommy Eklöf felt that still, the mannerism used in the artists renderings would change over time and then still create a hereto overlooked way to date and authenticate Chinese porcelain – based on facial features and adornments.

After an original research that have taken several years and several thousands of objects – carefully dated by consensus among experts as well as by traditional means – this book now covers the period from the late Ming dynasty, throughout the Qing dynasty and the Republic Period, up to the present day.

While nothing can beat actually handling an object, this book is a shortcut to learning to see the details that the experts are looking at.

It is a must have for dealers appraisers and auction houses, as well as the collector, hoping to “beat the game” by knowing just that little more about what tells the copies from the originals.

While reading a book is always good, to be able to ask the author is better. Included in all purchases of this book regardless of from which reseller you buy your copy, is one month (30 days) free membership in the Discussion Board where the author is a senior member.


More information of the book can be found here

Click here to buy the book via the Webshop

Paperback: 163 pages
1st edition 2013
Author: Tommy Eklöf
Language: English
ISBN-10: 9163733374
ISBN-13: 978-9163733376
Product Dimensions: 11.7 x 8.3 x 0.4 inches
Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds

March 11th, 2014

Chinese Export Ceramics

By Rose Kerr, Luisa Mengoni and Ming Wilson

Chinese Export Porcelain

Chinese Export Ceramics

“Chinese export ceramics are highly valued and collectible. This beautiful book tells the story of Chinese ceramics exported to Europe, the Middle East, and Southeast Asia from the 14th to the 19th centuries through the V&A’s extensive and celebrated collection. ”

It illustrates the extraordinary range of styles and decorative patterns, the integration of European and Middle Eastern shapes and designs, and the circulation and uses of exported objects around the world. Superb new photography reveals over 200 pieces illustrates the extraordinary range of styles and decorative patterns of Chinese export porcelain, ranging from bowls, pitchers, and vases, to statuary and much more.

Rose Kerr was Former Keeper of the Far Eastern Department at the V&A. Luisa E. Mengoni is a curator and Ming Wilson is a senior curator in the Asian Department at the V&A.

June 27th, 2013

Treasures of Chinese Export Ceramics From the Peabody Essex Museum

By William R. Sargent, with an essay by Rose Kerr

Chinese Export Porcelain

Treasures of Chinese Export Ceramics: From the Peabody Essex Museum

By: William R. Sargent; With an essay by Rose Kerr

Beginning in the sixteenth century when Portuguese traders started importing blue and white porcelain to Europe, Chinese ceramics manufacturers produced goods specifically for export to the West. The industry flourished through the early twentieth century as the market for fine porcelain expanded in Europe and the Americas. Among the Peabody Essex Museum’s founders in 1799 were sea captains and supercargoes involved in extensive trade with Asia, and many of the remarkable examples of export wares they brought back provided a foundation for the Museum’s world-renowned collection of Chinese export ceramics.

Written by William R. Sargent, a leading expert in the field, Treasures of Chinese Export Ceramics is one of the most authoritative sources on this topic. Its scholarly entries on 287 representative objects that date from the fifteenth to the twentieth century are divided into sections by type of ware. Although these examples only hint at the Museum’s vast holding, together they encompass its broad range of Chinese export ceramics. An essay on Jingdezhen, the “Porcelain City,” by Rose Kerr, a glossary of ceramics terminology, and appendix on armorials, and an extensive bibliography all contribute to making this an invaluable resource.

William R. Sargent is the former H. A. Crosby Forbes Curator of Asian Export Art at the Peabody Essex Museum. Rose Kerr is Curator Emeritus of the Far Eastern Collection of Chinese Ceramics at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London.

May 28, 2012
568 p., 9 1/2 x 12
428 color illus.
ISBN: 9780300169751

June 27th, 2013

Famille Verte: Chinese Porcelain in Green Enamels From Groninger Museum

By: Christiaan J.A. Jörg

Chinese Export Porcelain

Famille Verte: Chinese Porcelain in Green Enamels

A book and exhibition catalog about Chinese ‘Famille Verte‘ decorated porcelain. As the 19th-century French name implies, the decorations are predominantly painted in different shades of bright green enamels, combined with blue, yellow, red, black and sometimes some gold.

Author: Christiaan J.A. Jörg
Publisher: BAI-Schoten – Belgium
Size: 30×23 cm,
191 pages

The Canton Famille Rose Porcelains,
Chinese Export Porcelain in the 19th Century

By: John Quentin Feller

Chinese Export Porcelain

cantonfamillerose1.jpgChinese Export Porcelain in the 19th Century: The Canton Famille Rose Porcelains

This booklet is only 45 pages and in about letter format. I like to recommend it anyway since it is knowledgeable written and the pictures are of good quality. It is a fine book to be sure, full of helpful and interesting information. I think this could actually be quite useful in particular on the US market where this porcelain is more common than in Europe at a very modest price. For dating, David Howard Chinese Armorial Porcelain II cover this period too and is more all round, so if you got Howard II, you might not find that this booklet adds that much. But, there is also a difference in size, price, and scope.

As a small comment I personally prefer to reserve the famille rose name to porcelain from the 18th century and to call this porcelain Rose Medallion family, but maybe this does not matter much.

As a pure curiosity the author was also a very special guy. There was a lot of talk about this at the time. The author, John Quentin Feller, a University of Scranton professor and expert in Chinese porcelain was one of the most accomplished and compulsive art thieves in American history. Feller admitted walking off with more than 100 items from eight different museums. Interestingly, he donated many of his stolen goodies back to other cultural institutions, earning himself something of a reputation as an art world Robin Hood. He managed to carry on for almost 20 years before being caught and sent to prison in 1991.

Paperback: 45 pages
Publisher: Peabody Essex Museum (August 1982)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 087577069X
ISBN-13: 978-0875770697
Product Dimensions: 10.8 x 8.3 x 0.2 inches
Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces

March 30th, 2008

The Ca Mau Shipwreck 1723-1735

Chinese Export Porcelain // Ship Wreck Cargoes


The Ca Mau Shipwreck 1723-1735

By: Nguyén, Dinh Chién
This is a very interesting book considering the time at which this ship appears to have sunk, as in pretty much immediately after the Kangxi period.

Quite a lot of the cargo consists of pieces that in the antiques trade usually has been given the label Kangxi. Since quite a number of the pieces actually carries the Yongzheng (1723-1735) reign mark, that theory obviously needs to go. This is a really good reference book for this expansive period in the history of Chinese Export porcelain finding its palace right between the Vung Tau cargo c. 1700 and the Gotheborg cargo 1745.

The book is of 258 pages (96 pages of text, 386 photographs, and 21 pages of ceramics designs) and many line drawings. The book was based on the report complied by the Excavations Committee together with data and records relating to the artifacts collected by the two provincial museums of Binh Thuan and Ca Mau, from 1998-2000.

The contents includes the archaeological excavations of Ca Mau shipwreck, the artifacts recovered from the shipwreck site and maps.

Author: Dinh Chién, Nguyén,
Museum of Vietnamese History and Ca Mau Provincial Museum (2003),
Language: Vietnamese and English,

March 30th, 2008

China to Order,
By: Daniel Nadler,

Chinese Export Porcelain



Focusing on the XIXth Century and Surveying Polychrome Export Porcelain Produced During the Qing Dynasty, 1644-1908

By: Daniel Nadler

This book focuses despite the impression one might get from the cover picture, on the 19th century export porcelains. I need to say I have not read this book myself but list it through recommendations. You are welcome to add your own comments.


March 29th, 2008

Lost at Sea:
The Strange Route of the Lena Shoal Junk
By: Franck Goddio et al.

Blue and White // Chinese Export Porcelain // Ming Porcelain // Ship Wreck Cargoes

lena_shoal.jpgLost at Sea: The Strange Route of the Lena Shoal Junk, by Franck Goddio, Monique Crick, Peter Lam, Stacey Pierson and Rosemary Scott

Paperback: 288 pages
Publisher: Periplus Publishing London (December 2002)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1902699351
ISBN-13: 978-1902699356
Product Dimensions: 13.8 x 9.5 x 1 inches
Shipping Weight: 4.4 pounds

March 29th, 2008

The Choice of the Private Trader:
The Private Market in Chinese Export Porcelain.
Illustrated from the Hodroff Collection
By: David S. Howard

Chinese Export Porcelain

The Choice of the Private Trader: The Private Market in Chinese Export Porcelain Illustrated in the Hodroff Collection

The Private Trade in Chinese Export porcelain, as distinct from East India Company trade, has hitherto scarcely been recoginised as a subject in its own right. And yet the officers and supercargoes of the Hon. East India Company took full advantage of their license to trade on their own account; it is just this attractive and innovative ware, chosen by them at their own capital risk, that is most collected today. David S. Howard surveys more than two centuries of manufacture, and throws new light on how the trade was actually conducted. The Hodroff collection, the largest and most comprehensive of its kind in the world, closely mirrors the tastes of the private traders and is the ideal source of illustration for this pioneering work

Hardcover: 298 pages
Publisher: London: Zwemmer (September 1994)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0302006427
ISBN-13: 978-0302006429
Product Dimensions: 11.8 x 9 x 1 inches
Shipping Weight: 3.4 pounds

March 28th, 2008

Porcelain from the Vung Tau Wreck:
The Hallström Excavation

By: Christiaan J. A. Jörg, & Michael Flecker

Chinese Export Porcelain // Ship Wreck Cargoes

Porcelain from the Vung Tau Wreck: The Hallstrom Excavation

In the 1690s, a Chinese junk bound for Batavia and laden with ceramics for export to Europe, caught fire and foundered off Vung Tau, Vietnam. In the 1990s – and with the sanction of the Vietnamese government — a Vietnamese/Swedish team explored the wreck. A vast amount of mainly blue-and-white porcelain was found, and much of it was finally auctioned in Amsterdam, the cargo’s original destination. This illustrated expert study describes the 17th century export trade of China-Batavia-Holland and details the artefacts found. In part 2 the ship itself is presented and the methods and course of the excavation are set out. With drawings and photographs, biblography and index.

This book is divided into two sections: the art historical study of the ceramic hoard and it place in the history of European trade with Asia and China and the excavation process. It also presents data and commentary on the systematic underwater fieldwork, documentation and the raising of the cargo.

Format: Hardcover, 172 pages
Published: 2001, Singapore
ISBN: 981045208X

March 27th, 2008

Chinese Armorial Porcelain – Volume II

By: David Sanctuary Howard

Chinese Export Porcelain


Chinese Armorial Porcelain II, By: David Sanctuary Howard

Chinese Armorial Porcelain

Volume II

By: David Sanctuary Howard

This Volume II is a second, much updated, version of a work originally published in 1974. The late David Howard was as dedicated and well-organized businessman and scholar you could ever ask for. Somehow he seemed to share the soul of the early traders, adventurers and businessmen who originated the East India Companies throughout the world in the 17th 18th and 19th centuries. David Howard was an expert in Chinese export porcelain for over thirty years, based in a small shop in Hay Hill in London. We met and corresponded via mail for some time and I am happy to recognize some of my additions to his collection in his books.

This Volume II I would consider an indispensable resource for anyone studying and collecting Chinese Export porcelain.

Beside an extensive list of supplementary articles and registers the listing of services with photographs occupies some 640 pages of the 900 pages.

The original 1974 volume listed nearly 3,000 services made for families with British connections, of which almost 2,000 were illustrated. This new 2003 edition illustrates some 3,380 services, and David Howard believes that perhaps as many as 2,000 more still await discovery.

The order in which this complex material is organized follows the method he introduced in the 1974 edition by dividing them according to the style of the designs on their rims.

Although the system is not perfect, containing minor contradictions and overlaps, it supplements dating most domestic and export Chinese porcelain that bears similar designs as the armorial porcelain why these documented items, sometimes datable to an exact year, provide information with regards to form, pattern, motif and color palette that can be applied both to export wares and to Qing dynasty porcelain more generally.

For supplementary and updating material there is a useful website to complement the book

Hardcover: 900 pages
Publisher: Heirloom & Howard Ltd.; 1st edition (2003)
Language: English
ASIN: B000P72736

CLASSIC – on export porcelain in general and specifically, on Armorial porcelain for Great Britain

March 26th, 2008

Chinese Export Porcelain, Standard Patterns and Forms 1780-1880 by Herbert, Peter and Nancy Schiffer

Chinese Export Porcelain

schiffer.jpgChinese Export Porcelain, Standard Patterns and Forms, 1780-1880: Standard Patterns and Forms

I list this book a bit reluctantly, because there are a risk that anyone that only look at the cover will be disappointed, since this book deals almost exclusively with Rose Medallion, and is thus one of the the best books on the market for that kind of decorations. However there has happened a lot since this book was written.

The typography is homemade (yes) with a typewriter it seems, and the mostly black and white illustrations are mediocre.

Still due to its sheer mass of illustrated pieces I still think this belongs among one of the better books to have on this subject, in particular if your main interest in Rose Medallion decorated porcelain for the North American market.

Despite a few minor mistakes, it sorts out the North American terminology on Chinese export porcelain pretty well and you get all of the traditional definitions down pat.

Someone needs to keep up the traditions and I think this book does that pretty well. If you want better illustrations, there are plenty books with good pictures around. In that respect, this book hits pretty near rock bottom I would say. Maybe you should try to take a look inside it before you decide, but since I think it is available dirt cheap second hand, it’s not that big a decision.

March 26th, 2008

Chinese Export Porcelain in North America

Chinese Export Porcelain

mudge.jpgChinese Export Porcelain in North America

Chinese Export Porcelain in North America

By: Jean McClure Mudge
Provides a historical survey of the history of collecting Chinese porcelain in North America, from the late-16th to the early-20th century. One chapter deals with the United States where the China trade began in late-18th century.

I think I would call this an introductory book on Chinese export porcelain. The perspective is the North American and I think if that is where you are, maybe this is the book to begin with. It is not a “master piece”, maybe it tries to cover too much, but I still think it is a good beginners book which covers most bases and illustrates some of the more serious collectors items that belongs to the North American history and tradition. If you just want one book on this topic, this could be a good choice.

New York: Clarkson N. Potter, 1986.

March 26th, 2008

China for the West

By David Howard and John Ayers

Chinese Export Porcelain

chinaforthewest.jpgChina for the West: Chinese Porcelain and Other Decorative Arts for Export Illustrated from the Mottahedeh Collection

When I met Mildred Mottahedeh in New York in 1978 this book set was just off the presses, so I could talk her out of a signed copy for myself. She and her husband had single-handedly pushed up the auction prices on export porcelain to never before seen heights and this was the result. Their collection, catalogued and described by two of the most knowledgeable scholars in the field.

There were at the time nothing like it on the market and I would say as an individual book, even if it happens to be a set of two, it has not yet been rivaled. In its dry manner it is very British. I can recognize David Howards very knowledgeable but light-hearted academic prose. This is a set of two books and the definitive must have if you are interested in Chinese export. This is a must. A very large proportion of all “classical” export patterns from the 18th century are illustrated and described. There are certainly more pieces and decorations around of importance that are not here, but this book is a must and very practically so too.

CLASSIC – on Chinese export porcelain in general

March 26th, 2008

Chinese Armorial Porcelain
Volume I

By: David Sanctuary Howard

Chinese Export Porcelain


This is the first volume of the well known standard works on Chinese Armorial porcelain for the British market, between 1695 and 1820. Besides this, an excellent tool for anybody who want to be able to date 18th century Chinese export porcelain in general. It give a good background to how the porcelain that was made specifically on order was made decorated sold and, bought. This book is a masterpiece and an indispensable book for any in the antiques business as well as most any collector of Chinese Export Porcelain.

The illustrations that are mostly in black and white feels today a bit dated but are OK for identifying purposes.

CLASSIC – on export porcelain in general and specifically, on Armorial porcelain for Great Britain

March 26th, 2008

Kraak Porcelain: A moment in the history of trade
By: Maura Rinaldi

Blue and White // Chinese Export Porcelain // Ming Porcelain

kraakporcelain.jpgKraak Porcelain – A Moment in the History of Trade

This is the classic book on Kraak Porcelain and early Dutch market export wares. The time period is limited to the decades before and after 1600 but, this book is important for the understanding of late Ming porcelain in a similar way as David Howard Armorial Porcelain I+II give the keys to the dating of all common 18th century export porcelain.

This is not “better” than A D Brankstone, but while Brankstone explains the soul of early Ming, this is the key reference book on late Ming and a fundamental classic on “Kraak Porcelain”

CLASSIC – Fundamental reference on late Ming export “Kraak” porcelain

March 26th, 2008