Modern chinese dating

Because I have decided to include artist’s marks, the period covered by this overview will now stretch back into the later part of the Qing dynasty, into the Guangxu period, so as to capture the marks, seals and relevant inscriptions (dates) of the Qianjiang painters and their like.

The hallmarks of the Republic period are for the most part reissues of older hall marks from the earlier Qing reigns, but with a few that were new to the Republic, such as Ju Ren Tang Zhi and Zhao De Tang Zhi.

Some marks were used to commemorate a very special event, and some were simply date marks.

modern chinese dating-86

There are, by definition, no reign marks in the Republic Period, so I queried, what constituted the ‘non-reign’ marks in the previous dynasties?

From what I can glean, they were either hall marks (so were still produced in the Imperial kilns, if genuine), potters’ marks and painters’ marks, but by far the greatest number were commendation or aspirational marks, referring to “the destination or ownership of an object, or (to) carry a message of commendation or good wishes” (From Davison’s book).

Some are different combinations of reign marks but there are still over 3000 marks to cover the marks of all the Chinese Dynasties from the Shang 1600BCE to the Guangxu reign ending in 1908.

A relatively small but important number of Republic marks are also included.

Hallmarks and commendations were still reasonably common, but the commendations moved location from the base of the porcelains to the written inscriptions on the sides of the porcelains in the Late Qing and Republic eras.

Below, I will list almost 400 different marks from this era, and I am sure there are many more.

So these Late Qing and Republic aged porcelains have another very important attribute.

Many of the non-imperial derived patterns have inscriptions, usually in black enamel and which include some or all of the following elements: poem; artist’s name and/or seal; calligrapher’s name; cyclical date; commendation or other wishes; place of manufacture; owner or patron.

As you will see below, by far the most common mark colour is overglaze iron red.

Tags: , ,