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17th Century

17th Century, 18th Century, Articles, China, Imari

English, Japanese and Chinese Imari

When the Ming dynasty fell in the late 17th Century, the Dutch East India Company needed to find alternative sources for importing Porcelain in bulk to meet the increasing demand in the West. Japanese porcelain, shipped from the port of Imari, was cheap bright and colourful –  in contrast to the plain blue and white from China – Imari’s most noticeable export was blue and white underglaze, embellished with gold and iron red decoration. The port name, Imari, is now synonymous with this type of decoration (some Arita ware looks similar but does not include the underglaze blue). Below, this good example of 18th Century Japanese Imari is typically distinguished by the dullness of the gold embellishment, the deep dark Indigo Blue that borders on black (frequently applied with a thick brush)  and the dull orangey-red thickly (and, again, often crudely applied) surface glazed colouring under the gold. When the regular Trade routes to China

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16th Century, 17th Century, 18th Century, 19th Century, Articles, Blue and White, Blue Painted Mark, Blue Printed Mark, China, Marks

Chinese Reign Marks

Collecting old chinese pottery and porcelain is not as expensive as some might have you believe. For example in Spain there is a love of Blue and White that spans generations and cultures. You can find pieces in most places that you look and many will be chinese. However, whilst very old and splendid pieces might horribly expensive, small pieces can still be bought with a limited budget – if you have the enthusiasm to look. The two rules to remember are 1) Having a mark on the bottom, like the reign marks in the picture for this article,  does not mean that it really dates from that period. 2) Having no mark at all does not mean that it is valueless, just that the piece did not need to be stamped to sell – so was probably not intended for export. So what does the reign mark on Chinese

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