The Handbook of Marks of Chinese Ceramics
By: Gerald Davison

Review by on March 26th, 2008 // Filed under Hand and Reference Books

davison.jpgThe Handbook of Marks on Chinese Ceramics

This second edition is an updated version of the author’s first handbook, A Guide to Marks on Chinese Porcelain. This edition is the recognized best western handbook on marks on Chinese Porcelain.

The marks are re-drawn in neat calligraphy for this book and the emphasis is on the translations of the marks. In many cases the marks are dated in an appendix, but the dates are not possibly to confirm since the pieces the marks were found on are not at all or rarely, illustrated.

There are lots of books on Chinese porcelain marks published today, but most of them are entirely in Chinese and also tries their hands on the difficult task on dating the marks and the porcelain. Since marks are inherently untrustworthy on porcelain I think this difficult task of authenticating the porcelain might need to be dealt with separately. So considering its limitations in showing re-drawn and translated marks, I think Davison’s approach is a good one.

Go for the second (blue) edition.

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