Qing Dynasty - Yongzheng 1723-35

Doucai decorated Jar and Cover
Wanli mark.

8.5 cm height - 9 cm diameter

Finely painted with double chrysanthemum medallions
and lotus in an alternating double register.

This piece was previously listed in my Ming category.  Having not examined it in over 20 years, I pulled it for inspection.  I've decided to move it to the Qing category and reclassify it as being apocryphal (not of the period).  I'm also providing some additional images since this style of decoration is quite rare. This came from an estate sale almost thirty years ago and in re-examining it I've discovered an interesting bit of damage I wasn't aware of. Whoever was called in to identify items for the estate auction made a grave error. They took a carbide tipped instrument and actually inscribed the word CHINA just to the left of the six-character mark. It was previously undetected, barely scratching the surface, but rubbing some graphite over it brought it out clearly. Not a good move. The closer inspection though, shows it to be possibly apocryphal and not Ming.

As for quality, some 'experts' might be quick to point out the somewhat sloppy (or incomplete) fill of the red petals within the double flower roundel. That would be incorrect. The reason is to give each petal the appearance of being white tipped. The fill quality of all other flowers, branches, and leaves is complete and perfect. Note the inscription damage visible on the mark (sideways) below.

Click thumbnails for a full view.

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I've chosen to classify this as belonging to the Qing dynasty reign of Yongzheng (1723-35) since it was during this reign that doucai reached both it's height in production and perfection. Though doucai ware was first thought to have originated during the reign of the Ming emperor Chenghua (1465-87), shards have since been unearthed from the Xuande (1426-35) stratum at Jingdezhen during excavation. The origin of this design however is Chenghua. Information on other examples regarding this specific design and style is listed below.


An identical pair of these jars baring the Qing Dynasty, Qianlong mark (1736 95), were offered for auction in Sotheby's October 29th, 1991, Item 214 for HongKong 900000 - 1200000 dollars.  Click here to view the article and one image.

A Qianlong Jar and Cover of this size and pattern in the National Palace Museum, Taiwan, is included in "Illustrated Catalogue of Qing Dynasty Porcelain" pl. 24.

A pair from the Tianjin Arts Museum was included in the "Exhibition of Chinese Treasures of 5000 Years, Japan. 1985" Catalogue number 46.

A single Jar and Cover is mentioned by "Sun Yingchou, Wenwu, Kaogu, Zhuankan", Series 10, no. 2, 1974 p. 30, fig 3.