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Chinese Porcelain Marks

Chinese Jingdezhen porcelain after 1949

This is a preliminary attempt to outline the modern Chinese porcelain industry as it developed after 1949. The factories and their current data are preliminary and focused on my personal knowledge of the Jingdezhen industry. As with all things modern in China, it has developed at breakneck speed and involved tens of thousands of people, which is why this is only a tentative attempt to fill out some of the gaps in the recent history of Chinese porcelain. For an earlier period, I'd suggest you can look into to the University of California, San Diego, China’s china: Jingdezhen Porcelain and the Production of Art in the Nineteenth Century, a dissertation submitted in partial satisfaction of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in History, by Ellen Hua.

State-owned porcelain factories

In the 1900s, as mass production and mechanization of the ceramics industry were progressing in the West due to the industrial revolution, China also modernized Jingdezhen and developed coal kilns. After that, most of the porcelain produced in the state-owned porcelain factories was fired in coal kilns, and a part was fired in firewood kilns that were fueled by pine tree wood. However, in the 1990s, these manufacturing methods came to be considered bad for the environment, and they were replaced by the eco-friendly, energy-saving gas kilns and electric kilns. Ceramics fired in coal kilns and firewood kilns back then have a distinctly different appeal compared to those fired in modern kilns. Coal kilns gradually reduced operations from the end of the 1950s and were completely shut down in the 1990s. Therefore, the production period at the coal kilns is limited, and the porcelain produced at that time cannot be replicated and has great value. Currently, Jingdezhen is designated by the state as one of the resource-depleted cities, and the state-owned porcelain factories have been gradually reorganized and dismantled in the process of transition from planned economy to market economy in the 1990s. Porcelain manufactured at the state-owned porcelain factories is attracting attention from many collectors, and its price is rising year by year. Some of the finest items were sold at auctions by major companies at a price of more than CN¥1 million.

The Ten Porcelain Factories

After World War II, the People's Republic of China was established in 1949. The government built over 10 state-owned porcelain factories to revive Jingdezhen. You might notice that the list names more than 10 factories, however, this remains the name of all the state-owned porcelain factories in Jingdezhen in the middle of the 20th century as 十大瓷厂 (the ten porcelain factories).

The characters "瓷" (cí) and "厂" (chǎng) individually mean:

The factories are known as 十大瓷厂 (the ten porcelain factories).

  1. 東風瓷厂 Dongfeng porcelain factory (ex. traditional porcelain, for political leaders)
  2. 光明瓷厂 Guangming porcelain factory (ex. watermarked (rice grain pierced pattern) porcelain)
  3. 红旗瓷厂 Hongqi porcelain factory (ex. for Zhongnanhai, a residential district for government leaders, politicians, and VIPs)
  4. 红星瓷厂 Hongxing porcelain factory (ex. cup and saucer, for export)
  5. 建国瓷厂 Jianguo porcelain factory (ex. ancient re-product)
  6. 景兴瓷厂 Jingxing porcelain factory (ex. for wedding)
  7. 人民瓷厂 Renmin porcelain factory (ex. for daily use)
  8. 曙光瓷厂 Shuguang porcelain factory (ex. for gardening)
  9. 艺术瓷厂 Yishu porcelain factory (ex. antique re-product for daily use)
  10. 宇宙瓷厂 Yuzhou porcelain factory (ex. for export, dinnerware for domestic use)
  11. Other factories include:

  12. 雕塑瓷厂 Diaosu porcelain factory (porcelain dolls)
  13. 紅光瓷厂 Hongguang porcelain factory (ex. high-grade tableware, for export)
  14. 華風瓷厂 Huafeng porcelain factory (ex. high-grade porcelain for gift, for daily use)
  15. 新光瓷厂 Xinguang porcelain factory (ex. high-grade tableware, for export)
  16. 为民瓷厂 Weimin porcelain factory (ex. for export)

Jiangxi Procelain company (Jiangxi Ciye Gongsi) 江西瓷業公司
Jiangxi Procelain company Jiangxi Procelain company Jiangxi Porcelain Company. Established in 1910 (1907-12). Large semi government company funded by private owners and the five provinces of Hebei, Hubei, Jiangsu, Anhui and Jiangxi. It was located near Zhushan adjacent to the former Imperial factory in Jingdezhen. The company used traditional styles and methods and the porcelains did not differ greatly from those of the late Qing. Soon after the company established a ceramics school at Gaomen in Poyang, Raozhou. The factory seems to have been active at least until the end of the 1940's. See mark # 991. Another source says that Jiangxi Porcelain Company succeeded in setting up a coal kiln, but it was never allowed to use it because its chimney was very close to the police station, so porcelain was manufactured in a wood kiln fueled by pine trees. Therefore the porcelain of Jiangxi Porcelain Company is considered to have a special value. Left: Bowl, Hand written iron red base mark: Jiangxi Ciye Gongsi meaning "Jiangxi Procelain company". Diameter 12 cm. Dated in the inscription to the 36th year of the Chinese republic (1912+35), meaning 1947.

Arts Porcelain Factory
Arts Porcelain Factory In Jingdezhen. Fushou Brand, enameled "Famille rose" / Fencai porcelain. New-color porcelain etchings. Egg-shell porcelain. In the 1990s more than 900 out of 2000 employees worked with decoration.
Guangming Porcelain Factory (光明瓷厂)
Guangming Porcelain Factory No 2. of the Ten Porcelain Factories. In Jingdezhen. Specializes in Wanyu Brand "Rice grain" b/w porcelain in western style for export. Makes "rice grain" tableware, tea set, lamps, vases, egg-shell bowls and gift pieces. 1800 craftsmen employed, annual production over 20 million pieces in 1990.
Guangming/Hongguang Porcelain Factory
In Jingdezhen. Wanyu brand.
Jianguo Porcelain Factory
In Jingdezhen. Specializes in high temperature colored glazes since 1980. Zhuyuan brand, and Zhuguang colored glaze porcelain. The factory have maintained a traditional wood burning kiln and a traditional crafts workshop. One firing requires the burning of 40 tons of pine wood. Annual production 12 million pieces in 1990.
Jingxing Porcelain Factory
In Jingdezhen. Qingsheng brand. B/w decorated eggshell porcelain
People's Porcelain Factory
In Jingdezhen. Specializes in b/w decorated porcelain. The "Wutong" b/w porcelain brand is the modern version of the classical Willow (Canton) pattern. Also b/w - "Qingbai style celadon, Changqing brand.
Porcelain Hall
In Jingdezhen. Replica antique porcelain wares
Red Flag Porcelain Factory
In Jingdezhen. Yuhua Brand, Chinese Style porcelain table ware
Red Star Porcelain Factory
In Jingdezhen. Yuyan brand, Hanging and wall lanterns. Feihe brand, new-color Chinese table ware.
Shuguang Porcelain Factory
In Jingdezhen. Yule brand. Lotus jars
Statuary (Sculpted) Porcelain Factory
In Jingdezhen. Sanhua Brand. Traditional porcelain figurines. Employed 1400 craftsmen of which 500 decorators in 1990.
Universal Porcelain Factory
In Jingdezhen. Gaoling Brand "Pheonix". Western style porcelain. Staff of 1700, production of 20 million pieces of porcelain annually in 1990.
Weimin Porcelain Factory
In Jingdezhen. Specializes in export porcelain. Gaomei (Golden Chrysanthemum) brand. Established in 1960. Staff of 1700, exported 20 million pieces of porcelain annually in 1990.
Xinhua Porcelain Factory
In Jingdezhen. Caiyun brand, Chinese market household-use porcelain. Xinyun brand, b/w decorated Chinese market table ware
Xiamen Kingdom Ceramics Co., Ltd
Factory in Jingdezhen, Jiangxi Provence. Producing ornamental porcelain for collection, such as blue and white pattern, antique colors, famille rose etc. moulded by the Antique made during the Yuan Dynasty, Ming Dynasty, Qing Dynasty. Agent for Master Qinxilin, Master Wang Enhuai, Master Fu Yaosheng, Zhu Luogeng, Yu Jun etc. Showroom in Xiamen City. Copies of antique items and master's works, for collection to our customers and friends with much good quality and competitive prices.
Yuejin Porcelain Factory
In Jingdezhen. Famille rose, famille verte type porcelain. Founded in 1957. Annual production 1,5 million pieces. Porcelain for daily use, decorative porcelain, ancient porcelain replicas, souvenirs, dinner, coffe, and tea sets.
Yufeng Porcelain Factory
In Jingdezhen. Yufeng brand. Spiraling grain tea set
Pingxiang Ciye Gongsi
In Pingxiang. Founded in 1905.

Page design and content © Jan-Erik Nilsson, 2000. Based on documents sourced in Jingdezhen 1990 and 1992.
Translations courtesy of Simon Ng, City University of Hong Kong.