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Enameled vases with "Chenghua" mark in brown

I've come across a pair of vases, both that have the "Chenghua" mark on the bottom. They are 12 inches tall. Would you be able to tell me anything about these?

Guangxu (1875-1908) period or later

Your vases are made in the city of Jingdezhen in the Jiangxi Province of China.

This city has been the "porcelain capital" of China since the 14th century so, so far we have no problems.

The production of porcelain with this decoration seems to have started by the end of the 19th century. It became very popular during the first decades of the 20th century, and are in fact still being made today.

The earliest pieces of this type seems to quite often have two "Fo"-dogs at the sides of the neck, while these coiled dragons - or, which you could see from their split tails, are actually female "water dragons" - is less often met with.

This group is well known with several typical features.

One of them are a band etched in brown around the base, the shoulder of the pieces, or both, as in this case. Another, is that the mark is etched in brown.

As for a date of specifically these vases, that is hard to tell for sure. The vases are by their shape in itself, its Song dynasty Ge glaze and the female dragons, full of symbolic references to the final years of the Qing dynasty and the Empress Dowager, who put the Guangxu Emperor on the throne in 1875.

The best I could do in this case is to say that from the look of the enamels and the neat mark they might be pretty early.

Still I feel they rather belongs to the 20th century then the 19th, but when inside these 100 years - I don't dare to say for sure.

Kindly see the MARKS section (20th century Chinese) for further information and some suggested dates for specific marks.

Jan-Erik Nilsson