JIUJIANG PORCELAIN COMPANIES IN THE CHINESE REPUBLIC ERA 九江瓷民国

JIUJIANG PORCELAIN COMPANIES IN THE CHINESE REPUBLIC ERA  九江瓷民国

This report is a significant update to a previous report on this city’s C20th porcelains. With hundreds more examples it really defines how much information can be gained from a study of the base marks, inscriptions and decorative patterns of these wares.

Jiujiang is the second largest prefecture level city in Jiangxi Province after Nanchang and is located about 125km northwest of Jingdezhen, on the northwestern edge of the large Lake Poyang. Jingdezhen lies to the east of the lake, which thus provided an excellent transport link across to Jiujiang (See map below). Jiujiang, Jingdezhen and Nanchang form the three main manufacturing centres for Republic period porcelain, with Shanghai also important.  Jiujiang was directly connected to Guangzhou, Canton, via the Gan River so was a natural trading point, a lucrative customs port during the Qing Dynasty, and became a treaty port after 1861 when British troops overcame the Qing. Jiujiang thus became a wealthy and important city as a result of taxes from the huge international export trade in porcelains from Jingdezhen.

001_Jiujiang Map (800x698)

I wish I could discover more published information about the porcelain industry in Jiujiang during the Republic era, details about any manufacturing kilns, painting workshops or studios, but a few images of porcelain shops and businesses have emerged and I have now collected a many examples of porcelains which bear a ‘Jiujiang’ base mark or have some pertinence to Jiujiang. By 1926 there were more than 20 porcelain shops in Jiujiang (http://www.xlrww.cn/news/wh/xztbao/2009/19/15/831/), and just after the war with Japan (1945) some 80 shops had reappeared. It is considered that the ‘heyday’ for Jiujiang porcelain was in these first few years after the war but quite quickly economic circumstances deteriorated and by 1948, 30 of the porcelain shops had closed.  I am aware that there is information on the porcelain industry in Jiujiang in Chinese texts, and it would seem that an awareness of these Jiujiang companies (and unfortunately some fakes are recently appearing) is emerging within China, but there is still little factual data. However, there are some Chinese enthusiasts who have specialist ‘Jiujiang’ collections.

The porcelains themselves, therefore, will have to do the ‘talking’ (like so many Republic period porcelains). By this I mean that by compiling images of the patterns, shapes, marks and inscriptions of Jiujiang porcelains one can build up a list of porcelain companies, artists and decorations particular to the city of Jiujiang. It can fairly reliably be said that a Jiujiang base mark dates the porcelain to the Republic or earliest People’s Republic periods, unless a fake.

The porcelain industry throughout the Republic era was interrupted throughout Jiangxi by the war with Japan, 1937 – 1945. Therefore, although many companies closed up shop during this period, there is possibly a difference in the earlier works as opposed to those produced after the end of the war. Sometimes the name of the company changed slightly but was run by the same people or by their relatives or proteges. Certainly, base marks reflect these changes by substituting the Chinese characters, particularly the endings or suffixes (‘Gongsi’ vs ‘Chu Pin’ vs ‘Ci Zhuang’ etc). And the predominant patterns may have changed as well. Without detailed information on these changes from archival material, it should still be possible to just look at the porcelains themselves and make some pertinent observations. I think it will become apparent that very little porcelain was produced 1937-1945, thus dividing the story of Jiujiang porcelain in the Republic era into two.

I have discovered a photograph of the shopfront of the Jiangxi Porcelain Company in Jiujiang in 1930 with the characters Jiangxi Ciye Gongsi written right to left across the top:

002_Jiangxi Ciye Gongsi in Jiujiang 1930_LRWhether the porcelains sold here were actually manufactured in Jiujiang is unknown at present. They may simply have been made in Jingdezhen and distributed through the Jiujiang shop.

003_Binjiang Rd Porcelain Shops 1930 (800x557)Binjiang Road Porcelain Shops, Jiujiang, 1930 (from www.jiujiang.gov.cn)

004_Jiujiang West St Shops 1946 (800x653)West Street Shops, Jiujiang, 1946 (from www.jiujiang.gov.cn)

COMPANIES/STUDIOS/SHOPS:

Below you will see over 160 examples of porcelains from more than 40 different companies or workshops based in Jiujiang during the Republic period (a few of the names below may actually be later names for the same company).

Jiujiang Porcelain Companies:- with dates of inscribed examples

  • Jiujiang An Ji Ci Dian
  • Jiujiang Bao Ji
  • Jiujiang Chan Yu Cheng
  • Jiujiang Chen ??? (probably Chen Lie Shi)    1936
  • Jiujiang Ciye Chen Lie Shi
  • Jiujiang Ciye Gongsi
  • Jiujiang Ciye Shang Dian                               1926
  • Jiujiang Da Xing Gongsi                                 1932
  • Jiujiang De Cheng
  • Jiujiang De Ji                                                  1933, 1935
  • Jiujiang Feng Qing Shun Gai Liang
  • Jiujiang Gan Hua                                            1934
  • Jiujiang Guang Hua
  • Jiujiang Hua Chang                                         1932,1934,1936
  • Jiujiang Hua Sheng
  • Jiujiang Hui Kang
  • Jiujiang Jin Hua
  • Jiujiang Jin Yuan
  • Jiujiang Jing Hua                                            1933
  • Jiujiang Jiu Chang Ci Zhuang                         1934
  • Jiujiang Lei De Mao                                        1936
  • Jiujiang Li Sheng                                            1937, 1947
  • Jiujiang Liu Fuxing                                          1918
  • Jiujiang Mei Hua
  • Jiujiang Qing Hua
  • Jiujiang Rong Hua                                           1931, 1934
  • Jiujiang Run Sheng Yuan Zhi
  • Jiujiang Shou Ji                                               1933
  • Jiujiang Shu Hua                                             1935
  • Jiujiang Tai De Chang
  • Jiujiang Tao Cheng                                         1923
  • Jiujiang Xie Xing Cheng
  • Jiujiang Xing Zhang(?)
  • Jiujiang Yi He
  • Jiujiang Yi Sheng
  • Jiujiang Yu Shun Sheng
  • Jiujiang Yu Zhang                                           1937
  • Jiujiang Yuan Dong                                         1934, 1935, 1936, 1937
  • Jiujiang Zhen Chang
  • Jiujiang Zhen Dong                                         1923
  • Jiujiang Zhen Hua
  • Jiujiang Zheng Tao                                          1916
  • Jiujiang Zhi An                                                 1935
  • Shao Sheng Xie Yu Jiujiang                            1928 maybe
  • Jiujiang ? Hua Chu Pin                                    1925
  • No mark, but inscription                                   1924
  • Da Qing Guangxu Nian Zhi                             1931

Most of the dates are in the 1930s: this may be a reflection of fashion, i.e. it was popular and exclusive to have inscriptions on porcelain made to order during this period, or it could also reflect the burgeoning industry in Jiujiang at this time. Probably a bit of both. If the ‘heyday’ of Jiujiang porcelain was the period 1946-1948 (see above), then at this time fewer pieces were dated and/or these pieces have not survived in the ‘record’.

You will also see a remarkable similarity in the calligraphy of a series of these marks, probably written by a small number of writers, even though the company names are different. At this stage, I am not sure what this means. In general, we do not know the identity of the calligraphers, especially those who did the marks (sometimes the calligrapher of an inscription on the body of the porcelain will sign his name).

SHAPES:

It is well documented in the Chinese literature that white glazed ‘blanks’ which were made in the big  high temperature Jingdezhen kilns were then sold on to smaller manufacturers in Jiujiang, Nanchang, Shanghai, Fujian and Jingdezhen itself. These smaller businesses installed ‘red’ kilns (lower firing kilns which could set the enamels so popular at this time, but could not do high-fired underglaze blue and white wares) and hired painters and apprentices to make special orders for individuals and shops in their locality. This is the main reason why there are so many private company marks during this period.

The shapes of the porcelains produced by these studios and factories are therefore quite similar, especially for the more complex shapes. Thus, while these Jiujiang studios may have had different suppliers of plain rice bowls, with their slight peculiarities of shape, size and proportions, the suppliers (from Jingdezhen) of cong shaped vases or lidded serving bowls appear to have been fewer and therefore these exact shapes can be seen on differently decorated wares from Jiujiang, Nanchang, Shanghai and Jingdezhen.

It is also apparent that the Jiujiang studios/factories/shops sold some favourite shapes – the most obvious are the lidded serving bowls (small, medium and large sizes) you will see many examples of below.

DATES:

From all I have been able to discover about Jiujiang porcelain production in the Republic period, it would appear that the production can be divided into two segments – that period from around 1910 to 1937 and from 1945/6 to 1949/50, and perhaps even slightly later, into the Communist era. Between 1937 and 1945 the invasion by Japanese forces and the continuing war caused the almost complete destruction of the small porcelain manufacturers and the shops which sold their wares, especially in Jiujiang and Nanchang. In many cases the proprietors and staff left their factories and shops, packed up what they could and escaped to safer parts of China’s provinces. Many never returned. However, in other cases, relations of original shop and factory owners set up businesses again in Jiujiang, sometimes in the same premises. The names of these businesses changed a little or a lot, and it will be interesting to eventually track how the porcelains themselves changed with the tumultuous times! In some cases after 1949, the names of private companies were changed to reflect the new government’s ownership or control.

Before starting out on this study I thought that I had a fairly good idea about which patterns, which shapes and which pieces fitted into broad categories of Early or Late Republic, i.e. 1910 -1929 or 1930-1949, perhaps with a subset of pre 1937 (war with Japan) and post war 1945-1949. I have to say that after looking at the patterns and dating of these Jiujiang pieces, I can at present see no correlation between or within these dates. As a generality I can say that the pieces earlier in the Republic period have pattern elements which hark back to the Qing Dynasty whereas those later in the Republic have lost all traces of these influences and have been led by the patterns of the Qianjiang and Literati porcelain painters.

THE IMAGES: 

If you make your way through the images below you will be introduced to a very good range of typical Republic period patterns, some will be familiar, some new, and some are just idiosyncratic. However, I hope that by the end of this visual tour you can imagine the workers, artists, shop owners and customers in the busy streets of Jiujiang during the 1920s and 1930s and later. 

Below are images of Jiujiang porcelain examples in alphabetical order, according to the base mark. All are considered to be Republic period in age, although it is possible that a few may be slightly later. These images form the bulk of this report and it is worth looking carefully, especially to try to determine pattern similarities between and within the separate companies, and also to examine the calligraphy of the base marks and how they may change over time, and then to see what sorts of patterns are being produced – dynastically based or based on Qianjiang and Literati innovations of the late 1800s and early 1900s:

JIUJIANG AN JI CI DIAN (2 examples)005_Jiujiang An Ji Ci Dian Chu Pin_1_6 (800x269)This cup/mug is a typical Chinese shape and subject. Although not dated, the oval stamped mark with 3 divisions, the type of landscape colours and the mug shape suggest a late Republic age, 10.8cmH.

006_Jiujiang An Ji Ci Dian Chu Pin_2_27 (800x231)Teabowl with black-spotted yellow dragon amid blue clouds, 10.8cmD. Stamped oval mark, 3 divisions. 

JIUJIANG BAO JI (2 examples)

007_Jiujiang Bao Ji Chu Pin_1_29 (800x209)Teapot with Puce landscape, stamped mark.

008_Jiujiang X Bao Ji Chu Pin_1_22 (800x227)Small teapot with landscape in grey and green, 11cmH. Inscription is shown above, no base mark.

JIUJIANG CHAN YU CHENG (1 example)

009_Jiujiang Chan Yu Cheng You Zao_1_1 (800x165)This is a company name, Chan Yu Cheng, and has been discussed on the Gotheborg Board previously. Stamped red squat oval mark, 3 divisions, early Republic (from the faces). 

JIUJIANG CHEN (1 example)

010_Jiujiang Chen X X_1_34 (800x232)Jardiniere with puce landscape and long inscription. The artist/studio name has yet to be translated, but is probably the same as the example below – Chen Lie Shi. The planter is dated to the Bing Zi year, 1936. 

JIUJIANG CIYE CHEN LIE SHI (1 example)

011_Jiujiang Ciye Chen Lie Shi_1_11 (800x253)This bowl with no basemark, 11.1cmD, has an everted and scalloped rim, and an inscription which translates as Jiujiang Ceramic Display Showroom, signed by Shao Sheng Shi. 

JIUJIANG CIYE GONGSI (6 examples)

From the examples below this appears to be a company producing towards the later part of the Republic period, and therefore probably has little to do with the very famous Jiangxi Porcelain Company (Jiangxi Ciye Gongsi), based in Jingdezhen and its surrounds. Jiujiang Ciye Gongsi specialises in mainly utilitarian wares with standard patterns, such as the competently made  blue ground Bao Xiang Hua tablewares, and the apple green graviata dragon lidded serving pot.

012_Jiujiang Ciye Gongsi_1_16 (800x225)This teapot, 8.5cmH, with Qilongs amongst scrolls is slip cast with a straw-blown apple green glaze, stamped red mark. This type of decoration also appears below with four similarly decorated pieces from the Jiujiang Guang Hua company. I have also seen a teapot of exactly this shape and decoration with a red stamped four character kaishu Qianlong Nian Zhi mark. We do know that the Jiujiang Guang Hua Company was renamed after WWII to the Jiujiang Porcelain Industrial Company so this may be that mark, and therefore could date the company to post 1945 (However, we also know that this type of decoration was not made long after 1949 because of cost factors, Mr Kung Pers.Comm 2001 Hong Kong).

013_Jiujiang Ciye Gongsi_2_20 (800x233)A small ink box, showing a landscape and house and with a stamped iron red Jiujiang Ciye Gongsi mark, not by the same calligrapher as most of these marks.

014_iujiang Ciye Gongsi_3_22 (800x231)A milk jug with blue ground Bao Xiang Hua decoration, quite carefully rendered. The mark is distinctively handwritten and shape and decoration looks to be from the late Republic to early PRC.

015_Jiujiang Ciye Gongsi_4_30 (800x189)Large serving platter with a similar pattern to the milk jug above, 28 x 24 cm. The base is not glazed which is unusual for platters in the later Republic, so this could be an earlier example.

016_Jiujiang Ciye Gongsi_5_36 (800x219)Large lidded serving pot, 26cm D, with graviata dragons and pearl on an apple green enamel ground. Although this green enamel and blue enamel versions of this pattern are around they remain rare compared to the carmine enamel examples.

017_Jiujiang Ciye Gongsi_6_36 (800x231)This white scalloped plate with a bird and flower pattern dosen’t look quite right to me. The enamels are garish and the painting style very stiff. However, I have never seen a plate of this period with such ‘ribbed’ relief, so I am deferring judgement for now. The mark looks to be similar to that on the seal paste box above. Latest Republic if not brand new. 

JIUJIANG CIYE SHANG DIAN (7 examples) 

This is probably an offshoot of the Jiujiang Ciye Gongsi(above) or it could be another business altogether. ‘Shang Dian’ means a ‘store’ or ‘trade warehouse’ and appears on porcelain from Jiujiang and Shanghai. One example below is dated to the 1920s, but there looks to be a range of ages in the other pieces below.           

018_Jiujiang Ciye Shang Dian_1_7 (800x206)A teapot, 15cmH, with blurred images. The pattern is actually one of a pair of bluebirds and blue ‘forget-me-not’ flowers. Stamped red mark. This is an example of the pattern from another piece:  019_Jiujiang Ciye Shang Dian_1_7_pattern

020_Jiujiang Ciye Shang Dian_2_25 (800x182)Small teapot with koi carp, water plants and moon. Handwritten red mark and a short inscription. Variations of this pattern are seen again and again with Jiujiang marks.

021_Jiujiang Ciye Shang Dian_3_26 (800x237)Well painted teapot with pink and white peonies, 15cmH, stamped red mark. The inscription indicates a 1926 dating.

022_Jiujiang Ciye Shang Dian_4_34 (800x241)Small lidded serving bowl with blue bamboo & rock pattern, 16cm D, stamped red mark, short inscription.

023_Jiujiang Ciye Shang Dian_5_36 (800x203)Teapot with blue ground and well painted Bao Xiang Hua pattern, 15cmH, handwritten red mark.

024_Jiujiang Ciye Shang Dian Ya Zhi_1_38 (800x229)Small lidded serving bowl with meticulously painted dragon medallions, a small multi-coloured key fret and an uncommon overglaze blue ruyi border to the lid, green wave border to the base, 16cmD. Stamped red mark. Not sure what the meaning of ‘Ya Zhi’ is.

025_Jing Shi Jiujiang Ciye Chu 3 Pin_1_32 (800x246)The shape of this pot, with extremely well painted pink and green prunus branches and an inscription, looks too ‘old’ to have a circle mark, especially one which reads left to right (this was put into practice in PRC times from about 1950-1958) and has a number – 3. A conundrum.

JIUJIANG DA XING (3 examples)

026_Jiujiang Da Xing Gongsi_1_1 (800x197)The Jiujiang Great Prosperity (‘Da Xing’) Company. This is a large puce coloured intricately painted landscape lidded serving bowl. Handwritten red mark. Rare shape and size, although it is found on a few other Republic period pieces, 25cmD

027_iujiang Da Xing Gongsi_2_1 (800x230)The Jiujiang Great Prosperity (‘Da Xing’) Company. This plate is from Anthony J Allen’s book, Introduction to Later Chinese Porcelain. Handwritten red mark on a yellow graviata ground plate with blue and red chinese character ideograms. Translation of the ideograms would give added information; I know similar ideograms from a Nanchang made example gave the company and its affiliations in the ideograms.

028_Jiujiang Da Xing Gongsi_3_24 (800x191)Lidded serving bowl with carmine glaze and an ogival cartouche with a landscape and inscription, 16cmD, handwritten mark. Dated in the inscription Ren Shen, 1932.

JIUJIANG DE CHENG (2 examples)

029_Jiujiang De Cheng Chu Pin_1_3 (800x234)Handwritten red mark. Monochrome deep coral bowl, 12.5cmD.

030_Jiujiang De Cheng Chu Pin_2_34 (800x232)Teapot, globular form, with beautifully painted wisteria flowers and leaves. These wisteria are reminiscent of the way artist Zou Wen Hou painted, see Jiujiang Hua Chang and Jiujiang Lei De Mao company examples below. 

JIUJIANG DE JI (3 examples)

031_Jiujiang De Ji Chu Pin_1_9 (800x191)A pine, crane and pink peony bowl, 16.5cmD. Both the pine (song) and the crane (he) symbolize longevity, together they are known as ‘song ling he shou’ meaning to live as long as a pine and crane. Add Spring (chun, perhaps the peony gives this) and the wish is for newly-weds to grow old in life together. Stamped mark in red. Dated in the inscription to the Yi Hai year, 1935 and given as a gift

033_Jiujiang De Ji Chu Pin_2_18 (800x275)A lidded pot with a rocky mountain landscape. Stamped red mark, no inscription.

034_De Ji Chu Pin_1_37 (800x347)A vase painted with bird and lotus flowers and leaf. Inscription dates to Gui You, 1933 and signed by Zou Hou. This example auctioned in Beijing in 2012. Not authenticated as far as I am aware. 

JIUJIANG FENG QING SHUN GAI LIANG (1 example)

035_Jiujiang Feng Qing Shun Gai Liang Pin_1_16 (800x221)Teapot with landscape and a red mark, 9cmH, hard to tell if stamped or handwritten, two inscriptions. One inscription says “? Jiu Qing Shun Ci Pin” – made by Qing Shun Company; the other “Qiu Ying Tao Yang” this latter meaning Autumn Shadow Wave Sunny (shining).

JIUJIANG GAN HUA (5 examples)

036_Jiujiang Gan Hua Chu Pin_1_7 (800x215)A puce landscape bowl, stamped or handwritten red mark. The landscape is nicely painted, with a characteristic collection of rounded rocks

037_Jiujiang Gan Hua Chu Pin_2_25 (800x222)Large lidded serving bowl with beautifully painted chrysanthemums and foliage with ‘new’ enamels, 19.5cmD. Handwritten red mark.  The leaves of this piece show a distinctive sgraffito or scratched back technique. Dating of this type of decoration using these enamels likely to be 1945-1950.

038_Jiujiang Gan Hua Chu Pin_3_26 (800x202)Lidded serving bowl with a beautifully rendered landscape and an inscription giving a dating to 1934, 20cmD. Handwritten red mark, the third character may not be ‘Gan’ but I can’t find it elsewhere.

039_Jiujiang Gan Hua Chu Pin_4_28 (800x186)This lidded serving bowl is obviously a ‘marriage’ – the decoration on the base (chrysanthemums) and lid (roses or peonies?) are quite different, as are the marks, one given as Jiujiang Gan Hua, the lid coming from a Nanchang Zhen Hua company, 16cmD. The inscription is on the lid with the Nanchang Zhen Hua mark, with a 1935 date.

040_Jiujiang Gan Hua Ci Hao Chu Pin_1_14 (800x197)A small teapot with blue landscape and a stamped 3 division diamond mark, 9cmH. Four character inscription ‘Yun Dan Xiang Qing’ meaning ‘Charm Light Scent Refreshing’.  

JIUJIANG GUANG HUA (11 examples) 

The Guang Hua company (see below) is quite well known. We do know that “Du Zhongyuan (a Jingdezhen porcelain factory reformer in the 1930s) established the pottery industry management bureau in Jingdezhen, and the brighten porcelain factory in Jiujiang” (http://en.cnki.com.cn/Article_en/CJFDTOTAL-GNSY201004032.htm) Whether this ‘brighten porcelain factory’ is the same as the ‘Guang Hua’ factory is as yet unknown. The ‘Everbright’ Porcelain company (which may be another translation) was established in 1935, but was closed as a result of the Japanese war in 1937. Left over equipment was requisitioned by the Japanese and then traded as Central China Ceramics Co., Ltd. during the war years. At the end of WWII, its name was changed again to Jiujiang Industrial Porcelain Company, until communist takeover in 1949. Then a public/private partnership existed until 1956, when under government control was renamed Jiujiang Ci Chang, making utilitarian porcelain wares. So a ‘Jiujiang Guang Hua’ mark may give a pretty good dating of 1935-37 (but see below for alternatives thoughts on dating). The apparent owner of this company, at least in the 1930s, was Dai ​​Qixiang.

041_Jiujiang Guang Hua Ci She_1_2 (800x223)Stamped red mark, slip cast plate with scrolls, key fret and Qilong in relief, with a straw blown apple green enamel. There are three examples of this decoration for this company, indicating it was at least one of their specialities. This straw blown glaze was relatively time consuming and was generally not employed after 1949 (although I have a similarly made bowl with a circle mark and numbers, which usually indicates a 1950s dating).

042_Jiujiang Guang Hua Ci She_3_6 (800x197)Teapot with straw blown apple green glaze over scrolls and Qilong and key fret borders, 12cmH. Stamped red mark.

043_Jiujiang Guang Hua Ci She_4_7 (800x256)Creamer/milk jug with lotus and scroll decoration with a straw blown apple green glaze, stamped red mark.

044_Jiujiang Guang Hua Ci She_7_17 (800x193)Tea cup with Qilong pattern and key fret border in relief, green straw-blown glaze, 5cmH, stamped red mark.

045_Jiujiang Guang Hua Ci She_5_16 (800x226)An open bowl, 18.3cmD, with graviata and filigree border design. Possibly another common utilitarian pattern for this company, stamped red mark.

046_Jiujiang Guang Hua Ci She_6_16 (800x232)A shallow soup bowl, 22.2cmD,with graviata and filigree border design, stamped red mark.

047_Jiujiang Guang Hua Ci She_2_6 (800x223)Teapot with chrysanthemums and other flowers, 11.5cmH. The image is not clear enough to determine if these flowers are beautifully painted or transferred although I think probably handpainted, as this was a reasonably common specialty pattern in the late Republic early PRC period, not often seen in the West but highly regarded in China as the prototype was originally painted by Wang Bu. Stamped red mark. Untranslated inscription.

048_Jiujiang Guang Hua Ci She_8_20 (800x237)Teapot, 10.8cmH, with landscape of mountains, river and boat, untranslated inscription. Handwritten mark, looks good, but authenticity of the piece may be questionable. Uncommon teapot shape.

049_Jiujiang Guang Hua Ci She_9_21 (800x241)Four bowls each with a different flower, probably flowers of the four seaons set. Distinctive painting, stamped red base marks.

050_Jiujiang Guang Hua Ci She_10_33 (800x223)This little teapot has goldfish and water plants and a short inscription. Stamped red base mark. 

Many porcelains with ‘Guang Hua’ within their marks have Jiangxi prefixes instead of Jiujiang (see below), but it would appear to be a Jiujiang based company.

051 Jiangxi Guang Hua Gongsi, handwritten red mark

052_Jiangxi Guang Hua Gongsi_1_25 (800x242)‘Horseshoe’ cup with old man (Shou Lao?), inscription and handwritten mark with a ‘Jiangxi’ rather than ‘Jiujiang’ prefix. This example has not been verified but the mark is calligraphically similar to the example above.

051 (640x111)Jiangxi Guang Hua Gongsi, less common overglaze blue stamped mark

JIUJIANG HUA CHANG (9 examples)

The Hua Chang company appears to have produced quite high-end pieces. Two inscribed lidded serving bowls with exceptional enamel painting and a well painted dragon & phoenix in medallion teapot are shown below, all from Chinese porcelain forums. There are also several examples which have no place name prefix and are just ‘Hua Chang Ciye Shang Dian’ on the base or in the inscriptions: ‘Jiangxi Hua Chang Chu Pin’ and ‘Hua Chang Ciye Gongsi’, the latter dated Ren Shen, 1932.

054_Jiujiang Hua Chang Chu Pin_1_15 (800x211)This beautifully painted small lidded serving bowl,15cmD, with a handwritten mark is painted by Zou Wen Hou and is dated in the inscription to 1936. The painting is very similar to a Jiujiang Lei De Mao teapot shown below, also dated to 1936, and signed Zou Wen Hou. There is at present no known relationship between these two companies. Zou Wen Hou produced extremely beautiful porcelain painting and his plaques and teapots etc are highly sought after. He started work for Liang Duishi’s shop in Jiujiang, called Lize Xuan, in 1930 and was there until 1939 when he moved to Jingdezhen. He would have painted many specialist pieces and would also have had a great influence on other painters and apprentices in the city. 055_Jiujiang Hua Chang Chu Pin_1i (300x212) 056_Jiujiang Hua Chang Chu Pin_1id (300x265) The inscription translates = Bing Zi ( 1936), third month, Mr. Ganxi “xian sheng qing jian” (a very humble and respectful saying ), Wu Wen Hou (I am not sure if my translator has mistaken Zou Wen Hou’s name or if it does say ‘Wu’ and this is another name for this celebrated artist).

057_Jiujiang Hua Chang Ciye Shang Dian_1_34 (800x224)This serving bowl, minus lid, shows a pattern of Chinese character ideograms in iron red, with 3 inscriptions, no base mark, 19cm D. The calligraphy on the main inscription is by the same hand as the serving bowl below, which is dated to 1932.

058_Hua Chang Ciye Gongsi_1_37 (800x211)Lidded serving bowl with a blue landscape, dated in the inscription to Autumn, 1932. See example above for comparison of inscription calligraphy. This implies that the bowl was made in Jiujiang at the Hua Chang Company.

059_Jiujiang Hua Chang Gongsi_1_10 (800x240)Small lidded serving bowl with yellow chrysanthemum and foliage decoration, finely painted, handwritten mark, 15cmD.

060_Jiujiang Hua Chang Gongsi_2_26 (800x223)Large serving pot with carmine glaze and ogival cartouche containing detailed landscapes and an inscription, mainly  untranslated. Dated to the 23rd year of the Republic, 1934, from the inscription.

061_Jiujiang Hua Chang Gongsi_3_29 (800x247)Set of plates with chrysanthemums and foliage, hard to tell if mark is handwritten or stamped, but probably handwritten.

062_Jiujiang Hua Chang Zhen Pin_1_9 (800x185)Sugar pot with finely painted medallions containing a red dragon and a phoenix. Stylised wave pattern at base. Handwritten red mark.

063_Hua Chang Ciye Gongsi Shang Dian_1_39 (800x213)Teabowl set with yellow graviata ground and red and blue chinese character ideograms, bowl 10.5 cmD. Handwritten red mark. Possibly a later example from this Hua Chang Company in Jiujiang.

064_Jiangxi Hua Chang Chu Pin_1_38 (800x303)Small brush pot with a puce landscape and detailed figure,11cmH. The inscription is in black. Again, probably the same Jiujiang Hua Chang Company but with a Jiangxi prefix. 

JIUJIANG HUA SHENG (2 examples)

065_Jiujiang Hua Sheng Zhen Pin_1_26 (800x218)Small lidded serving bowl with beautifully detailed blue enamel bamboo pattern, 15cmD. Handwritten red mark. Very expressive mark calligraphy.

066_Jiujiang Hua Sheng Zhen Pin_2_37 (800x231)A beautifully rendered pot with a pair of black and white birds on a branch and flowers and foliage, 24cm D. Attributed to Zou Hou from an auction in Tianjin, not authenticated. 

JIUJIANG HUI KANG (1 example)

067_Jiujiang Hui Kang Chu Pin_1_5 (800x239)Product of Hui Kang company/workshop or painted by someone called Kang. Handwritten red mark, which looks a little similar to the stamped mark below for Jiujiang Shou Ji Ci She. Dragon & phoenix medallion bowl with bats, multi-coloured small key fret and stylised wave basal border, 12cm D. 

JIUJIANG JIN HUA (2 examples)

068_Jiujiang Jin Hua Chu Pin_1_4 (800x226)Classic black ground millefleur mildly scalloped edge plate, 9”D. Stamped red mark.

068_Jiujiang Jin Hua Chu Pin_2_8 (800x244)A yellow ground millefleur bowl with a stamped red mark, 11.6cmD.

 JIUJIANG JIN YUAN (1 example)

069_Jiujiang Jin Yuan Ci Zhuang_1_19 (800x256)Large lidded serving bowl with intricate landscape scene, 26cmD. Overglaze teal blue stamped mark.  

JIUJIANG JING HUA (3 examples)

070_Jiujiang Jing Hua Chu Pin_1_10 (800x185)Dinner and Tea Set with a cohesive but variable pattern which includes an elongate rock, bamboo, nandina, lingzhi fungus and flowering narcissus. Sometimes other elements are included, such as a sun and waves, and a crane or other bird, but the products from this company appear identical and by the same artist’s hand. The pattern is called Qunxian in Chinese from what I can gather, and is used to convey special birthday wishes.

071_Jiujiang Jing Hua Chu Pin_2_19 (800x228)Saucer, with angular rock, bamboo, nandina, lingzhi and narcissus, overglaze blue handwritten mark, and an eight character undeciphered inscription, except for the date, Gui You, 1933. Beautifully made and painted.

072_Jiujiang Jing Hua Gongsi_1_18 (800x231)Teapot with overglaze blue handwritten mark. This pattern of a rock with bamboo, nandina, narcissi, lingzhi fungi and sometimes a red plumed bird is found on several Jiujiang pieces. Other examples have a Jiujiang Rong Hua blue mark, see below. The symbolism is used to convey birthday wishes and longevity.  

JIUJIANG JIU CHANG (2 examples)

073_Jiujiang Jiu Chang Ci Zhuang_1_13 (800x238)Another lidded serving bowl, one of very many with Jiujiang marks – it is a common shape, 19cmD, stamped blue mark. The inscription gives a date to Autumn, 1934, and is a gift to a deputy commander of the Kuomintang Army named Tong Linge (Google translated!). Ci Zhuang translates as Ceramic Village.

074_Jiujiang Jiu Chang Ci Zhuang_2_29 (800x186)A set of small sauce dishes, same pattern and same inscription as above. 

JIUJIANG LEI DE MAO (7 examples) 

The Lei De Mao company or workshop produced consistently high quality items, many with bird and flower decoration. The beautiful painting is on bulbous teapots, bowls and other utilitarian wares, but they really stand out as special pieces. One artist identified is Zou Wen Hou, who died in 1951 and produced works for several Jiujiang companies, but also in his own right. He came to Jiujiang in 1930/31 to produce works for Liang Duishi’s shop, the Lize Xuan. He went to work in Jingdezhen in 1939. Another well-known artist, Bi Botao, also worked for the Lize Xuan.

075_Jiujiang Lei De Mao Zao_1_24 (800x194)Teapot with extremely well painted naturalistic lotus flower, buds and leaf, no inscription. Stamped red mark.

076_Jiujiang Lei De Mao Zhi_1_1 (800x158)Lei De Mao company, handwritten red mark, 4 ¼”D.  Beautifully painted yellow and pink chrysanthemum and bird bowl.

077_Jiujiang Lei De Mao Zhi_3_17 (800x219)A flower and bird bowl from this company. Handwritten red mark. Same calligrapher as example above. The bird is particularly detailed and evocative.

078_Jiujiang Lei De Mao Zhi_2_13 (800x235)Another very special piece from this maker/studio, this one a beautiful small teapot, 11cmH, with a bird and wisteria branch plus foliage, all meticulously painted and with an inscription dated to 1936. The inscription indicates that the teapot was given to a teacher, Shu Zhen, by Sheng Gai Hui Min, on the 1st of May, 25th year of the Republic, 1936. 079_Jiujiang Lei De Mao Zhi_2i (300x92) 080_Jiujiang Lei De Mao Zhi_2ia (300x293)  ‘Yu Ye Yin Gou’ – ‘Jade enterprise silver hook’. The painting of wisterias on this teapot is very distinctive and is similar to the small lidded serving bowl with the Jiujiang Hua Chang mark (see above).

081_Jiujiang Lei De Mao Zhi_4_21 (800x211)Another very well painted teapot, peonies and foliage I think, but very distinctive and can be seen on other special pieces from the Republic. These bulbous bodied teapots are particular to this maker/studio/shop, it would seem, stamped red mark.

082_Jiujiang Lei De Mao Zhi_5_21 (800x186)From a set of four such lidded serving bowls, these are also finely and individually painted by yet another good artist, purple and blue chrysanthemums. Stamped red mark.

083_Jiujiang Lei De Mao_1_33 (800x176)A tea set attributed to Zou Hou, flower and bird, no images of marks etc. The tray is 24cmD. Not authenticated. 

JIUJIANG LI SHENG (6 examples)

The Li Sheng studio also produces high quality items, at least in the earlier part of the Republic period, but it made basic utilitarian wares as well. Of note is the low quality of the stamped base marks on some beautifully made pieces! The marks usually say Jiangxi Li Sheng but this is undoubtedly a Jiujiang company.

084_Jiujiang Li Sheng Chu Pin_1_5 (800x226)Li Sheng is probably a studio name, with a small inscription on this plate indicating that the artist is Yunxi Shan Qiao, a known artist of snow landscapes but especially renowned for his black diaper borders. A snowy landscape hanging plate with an intricate black diaper and filigree border, 21.8cmD. From the Jiangxi Provincial Museum, in the book ‘The Complete Collection of Jiangxi Province, 2008. The use of zhuanshu seal characters for the stamped private company mark is unusual for this time period.

085_Jiujiang Li Sheng Chu Pin_2_12 (800x233)Small lidded serving bowl with dragon medallions and phoenix medallions and alternating bats, multicoloured keyfret, spearhead and stylised wave borders, c.15.8cmD, stamped red mark.

086_Jiangxi Li Sheng_1_9 (800x248)Sold by Christies in May, 2011. This small teapot, 16.5cmD, with two songbirds among peonies is inscribed and dated the 10th of May, thirty-six years of Republic period (1947), as an engagement present to Mao Qian Yi and Jiang Rui Ying. Crudely stamped red mark.

087_Jiangxi Li Sheng_2_9 (800x244)Pine & crane bowl with lingzhi fungus, 4.75”D. Inside of bowl is marked ‘Yang San Fu Tang’, handwritten, but a red stamped mark for Li Sheng on the base.

088_Jiangxi Li Sheng_3_26 (800x230)A teacup with handle, decorated with a simple floral and scroll border on a blue ground. A utilitarian piece with a stamped red mark in a square, product from later in the Republic perhaps?

089_Jiangxi Li Sheng_4_29 (800x185)Small teapot with well painted chrysanthemums and foliage, a meticulous red and black filigree border, and an inscription giving a date of 1937 (there have been cases where the dating ‘30’ + ‘7’ + ‘made’ without a ‘Mingguo’ prefix doesn’t actually mean 1937, but really equates to 1948, meaning 37th year of the Republic – this might be the case here considering the datings of the other Li Sheng teapot above, decoration could be either, but the black borders do look 1940s?). Stamped red mark. 

JIUJIANG LIU FUXING (1 example)

090_Jiujiang Liu Fuxing_1_25 (800x250)Cylindrical vase with old sage and boy under a pine tree, 28.5cmH. Stamped red mark reads Liu Fuxing Hao. Inscription reads Liu Fuxing Jiujiang Keci with a dating to the Wu Wu year, 1918. This example from the book, Canon of Colored Ceramic painting of Famous Artists in Modern China 2005, and one of the earliest exampls of Republic period Jiujiang porcelain in this report. Liu Fuxing is a known Republic period artist. 

JIUJIANG MEI HUA (2 examples)

091_Jiujiang Mei Hua Chu Pin_1_15 (800x208)A nicely painted tureen with the HeHe boy or twins decoration, handwritten red mark, and an inscription. 092_Jiujiang Mei Hua Chu Pin_1i (300x202) “Yan Nian Yi Shou, Fu Gui Ji Xiang”= Prolong & lengthen life, rich honour (and) auspicious.

093_Jiujiang Mei Hua Chu Pin_2_35 (800x225)Small tureen with a peach finial lid, with a pair of red winged birds and yellow blossomed branches, 12cmH. Handwritten red mark and an inscription. 

JIUJIANG QING HUA (4 examples) 

This company makes a range of uncomplicated utilitarian wares, with consistent marks in stamped overglaze blue. There is a large group of early C20th pieces which have a ‘Qing Hua Zhen Pin’ mark in underglaze blue or iron red, all handwritten (see my Republic marks reports), but there is little likelihood that they are the same company as this one, unless this is a later incarnation after the war with Japan.

094_Jiujiang Qing Hua Gongsi_1_6 (800x228)This overglaze blue stamped mark  reads Jiujiang Qing Hua Gongsi. A landscape design on a lidded pedestal tureen, overglaze blue stamped mark, simple inscription.

095_Jiujiang Qing Hua Gongsi_2_11 (800x231)A lady or child amongst clouds decorate this horseshoe cup, 5.8cmH. Stamped overglaze blue mark.

096_Jiujiang Qing Hua Gongsi_3_21 (800x216)Small lidded serving bowl with delicately painted chrysanthemums and foliage, c.16cmD. Stamped overglaze blue mark.

097_Jiujiang Qing Hua Gongsi_4_24 (800x228)Teabowl set with delicately painted roses and daisies, short inscription. Overglaze stamped blue mark and a short inscription. 

JIUJIANG RONG HUA (13 examples)

The Jiujiang Rong Hua Company produces some very high quality items but, like some of the other companies or shops, with quite a large range of shapes and decorations. ‘Rong Hua’ means prosperity. Dated pieces all from the 1930s.

098_Jiujiang Rong Hua Chu Pin_1_12 (800x223)This unmarked puce landscape tea bowl and cover bears an inscription which includes the Rong Hua company name.

099_Jiujiang Rong Hua Chu Pin_2_21 (800x214)Brushpot with landscape, also unmarked on the base, but company name is in the inscription.

100_Jiujiang Rong Hua Gongsi_1_4 (800x231)Delicately painted plate with 2 types of prunus blossom branches and a stamped overglaze blue mark, 7 5/8”D.  Rong Hua company. The inscription on the front gives a dating to the Xin Wei year, 1931.

101_Jiujiang Rong Hua Gongsi_2_17 (800x235)An ogee scallop edged plate with bird and flower on a rock, and an inscription which includes a dating to 1934, Jia Xu. The decoration looks very similar to that on some of the Jiujiang Zhi An examples and a Jiujiang Yuan Dong teapot. Stamped overglaze blue mark. The inscription indicates that the plate was a gift from Mr Zhu Dajun to Mr Pei Shen.

102_Jiujiang Rong Hua Gongsi_3_31 (800x267)An iron red dragon bowl amongst stylised clouds and flames and a multi-coloured keyfret. The auction description noted the base mark as Jiujiang Rong Hua Gongsi. Not a common pattern for Jiujiang wares, most appear to be made in Jingdezhen or Nanchang.

103_Jiujiang Rong Hua Zhen Pin_1_4 (800x240)A plate with a small red feathered bird on a rock and a red berried nandina bamboo, bamboo, lingzhi fungus and narcissus, expressing birthday wishes. Handwritten red mark. See Jiujiang Jing Hua examples of this pattern, above. This plate was discussed on the Gotheborg Board.

104_Jiujiang Rong Hua Zhen Pin_2_4 (800x216)Dragon medallions and phoenix medallions on a scalloped plate with bats, beribboned coins and a multi-coloured key fret, 25.4cmD. Handwritten red mark, same calligrapher as above.

105_Jiujiang Rong Hua Zhen Pin_3_5 (800x231)This bowl showing a peacock and prunus blossoms is from the book “Century Retrospect”, Zeng’s Collection of Jingdezhen Porcelain, 2003, 19.2cmD. Handwritten red mark.

106_Jiujiang Rong Hua Zhen Pin_4_5 (800x233)A high quality millefleur bowl on a black ground with a rare set of Chinese characters on the petals of one of the flowers, indicating it was a gift to Ma ? Jing. Handwritten red mark.

107_Jiujiang Rong Hua Zhen Pin_5_14 (800x168)Small teapot with HeHe boys decoration, 11.8cmW. Inscription dates it to the 23rd year of the Republic, 1934, and gives congratulations on an engagement from friends and relatives. Stamped overglaze blue mark.

108_Jiujiang Rong Hua Zhen Pin_6_20 (800x215)Plate, 20.05cmD, with dragon medallions & phoenix medallions and a multi-coloured key fret scalloped border. Handwritten red mark. Almost identical to the example above, but with slight differences to the decoration and the mark.

109_Jiujiang Rong Hua Zhen Pin_7_20 (800x213)Stamped overglaze blue mark on a cup with handle showing two little boys.

110_Jiujiang Rong Hua Zhen Pin_8_22 (800x204)Beautifully painted chrysanthemums on a toothbrush holder, dated Jia Xu 1934 in the inscription. Stamped overglaze blue mark.

111_Jiujiang Rong Hua Zhen Pin_9_33 (800x215)Teabowl and lid with the Qunxian birthday decoration in its full glory, including the standard elements but also a flying crane, a thatched dwelling amongst clouds and a rising sun above waves, all to give more prosperous blessings to the receiver! Stamped overglaze blue mark. 

JIUJIANG RUN SHENG YUAN ZHI (1 example)

112_Jiujiang Run Sheng Yuan Zhi_1_24 (800x228)Large serving pot with lid, inscription and handwritten red mark. The evocative painting of chrysanthemums and foliage is a common theme from these Jiujiang companies. 

SHAO SHENG XIE YU JIUJIANG (1 example)

113_Shao Sheng Xie Yu Jiujiang_1_22 (800x233)Small jardinière and base with reserved moulded landscape scenes and inscriptions, 8.5cmH. This is a classic Republic period jardinière shape and usually has landscapes and inscriptions or flowers of the four seasons depicted on the moulded raised panels. No base mark. Possible 1928 dating. 

JIUJIANG SHOU JI (2 examples)

114_Jiujiang Shou Ji Ci Zhuang_1_1 (800x183)Stamped red mark, prunus blossom bowl with stapled repair and star crack, 16cmD.

115_Jiujiang Shou Ji Ci Zhuang_2_33 (800x211)Teabowl with landscape and a very similar stamped red mark to the example above. Dated to Gui You, 1933, in the inscription 

JIUJIANG SHU HUA (2 examples)

116_Jiujiang Shu Hua Chu Pin_1_27 (800x210)Small lidded tureen with birds, willows and prunus, handwritten red mark.

117_Jiujiang Shu Hua Chu Pin_2_31 (800x210)Teapot with rooster and daisies and a handwritten red base mark very similar to the example above. The inscription gives a dating to 1935 and signed by the artist, Yang Guojin. 

JIUJIANG TAI DE CHANG CHU PIN (1 example)

118_Jiujiang Tai De Chang Chu Pin_1_28 (800x197)Small lidded serving bowl with goldfish and waterplants with a stamped, 3 sectioned diamond shaped mark, 16cmD. Short inscriptions on lid and base. This pattern is recurrent within Jiujiang pieces.

JIUJIANG TAO CHENG (2 examples)

119_Jiujiang Tao Cheng Ci Zhuang_1_7 (800x222)Tao Cheng company or school. A puce landscape narcissus tray. Mark could be stamped or handwritten, but probably the latter. Two short inscriptions.

120_Jiujiang Tao Cheng Ci Zhuang_12_13 (800x292)Brushpot with a mountain and river landscape,10.5cmH, inscription gives a 1923 dating. Handwritten red mark. 

JIUJIANG XIE XING CHENG (1 example)

121_Jiujiang Xie Xing Cheng Chu Pin_1_37 (800x188)Lidded serving bowl with a well painted puce landscape and a short inscription. Stamped red mark in a 3 divisioned diamond shape. No other information on this company/studio. 

JIUJIANG XING ZHANG ZHEN PIN (1 example)

122_Jiujiang Xing Zhang Zhen Pin_1_28 (800x223)Bowl with a yellow and black-spotted dragon, painted in a cartoon style, 12.5cmD. This type of dragon appears in the mid to late Republic period, from several companies including Jiangxi Porcelain Company and the Jiujiang An Ji company (at top of this list), and is very distinctive, being cartoonlike in character and very lively. 

JIUJIANG YI HE (1 example)

123_Jiujiang Yi He Chu Pin_1_21 (800x202)Characteristic globular teapot with chrysanthemums and bird, a stamped red mark. Four character inscription on reverse.  

JIUJIANG YI SHENG (3 examples)

124_Jiujiang Yi Sheng Gongsi_1_17 (800x225)Teapot, pear shaped, with puce landscape, 15cmH. Handwritten red mark. The inscription reads “Yu Ye Xi ? Ji Su Sheng” meaning ‘Raining night cozy ( wind), long-cherished life’.

125_Jiujiang Yi Sheng Gongsi_2_18 (800x232)Small teapot with well painted peonies and yellow lily and a black bird, 9cmH. The handwritten red mark by the same calligrapher as below.

126_Jiujiang Yi Sheng Gongsi_3_18 (800x267)A lidded pot with a mountain and hut landscape, short inscription. Handwritten red mark. The inscription reads “Tai bai dou jiu” = Mr. Tai Bai (the most famous poet in the Tang Dynasty who is renowned for drinking) alcohol race! 

JIUJIANG YU SHUN SHENG (or just Shun Sheng) (2 examples)

127_Jiujiang Yu Shun Sheng Chu Pin_1_2 (800x240)Stamped red mark on a gaiwan, or teabowl set, depicting Shou Lao, God of Longevity. The inscription reads ‘Jiangxi Shun Sheng Chu Pin’. Shun Sheng is a known Republican artist’s name.

128_Jiangxi Shun Sheng_1_20 (800x228)Large lidded serving pot, 26cmD, with landscape scene and two inscriptions. Jiangxi and Shun Sheng in the inscription but the owner noted that the pot is from Jiujiang. Shun Sheng is a known Republican artist’s name. 

JIUJIANG YU ZHANG (5 examples)

129_Jiujiang Yu Zhang Chu Pin_1_13 (800x203)Pear shaped teapot and tea tray with puce landscape and inscriptions on both indicating the place and company/workshop. No images of any base marks.

130_Jiujiang Yu Zhang Chu Pin_2_24 (800x226)Teabowl set with puce landscape with inscription giving Jiujiang and Yu Zhang. Same calligrapher as above.

131_Jiujiang Yu Zhang Chu Pin_3_36 (800x225)Pedestal plate or tazza decorated with pink roses and foliage, distinctive painting style, 18.5cmD. No base mark, but same calligrapher as the two examples above

132_Jiujiang Yu Zhang Zhen Pin_2_18 (800x237)Detailed and beautifully painted Dragon & Phoenix teapot with handwritten red base mark, no other information.

133_Jiujiang Yu Zhang Zhen Pin_1_13 (800x228)Puce landscape sauce dish with inscription, 8.1cmD, inscription dating to the Ding Chou year, Autumn 1937. The rest of the inscription reads ‘Han Qing Zhi , Yu Tao Yang ( Person’s Name), but not sure if Yu Tao Yang is the artist’s name. Stamped overglaze blue mark. This is a different ‘Zhang’ character to those above and has more similarity to the Jiujiang Xing Zhang example above. The calligraphy is different as well. 

 JIUJIANG YUAN DONG (25 examples) 

This company is quite well known and translates as the Jiujiang Far East Company. Twenty five examples are shown below, eight of which are small lidded serving bowls, which may have been their speciality. Four examples are dated, one each to 1934, 1935, 1936 and 1937. Many of the serving bowls are painted with beautifully rendered flowers and their base marks are all consistently written by the same calligrapher. Three of the chinese website examples are yellow graviata ground with primary coloured chinese character ideograms. This pattern is seen on other Jiujiang marked porcelains and may also have been a speciality to the city. All but two of the base marks are handwritten, and all these handwritten ones are trying to look the same. However, some look like they are done by a student/apprentice contemporaneously to the original calligrapher, or are slightly later in the Republic, or they are recent copies. I am uncertain whether the stamped marks occur by ‘whimsy’ or for some other particular reason, or signify that they were made slightly later in the Republic period.

134_Jiujiang Yuan Dong Chu Pin_1_3 (800x233)Small lidded serving bowl, with pink and yellow chrysanthemums and foliage, exquisitely painted, 6 1/8”D. Handwritten red mark.

135_Jiujiang Yuan Dong Chu Pin_11_15 (800x212)Small lidded serving bowl, 15.5 cmD. Handwritten red mark and almost identical decoration to the example above, but a separate piece and obviously by the same artist.

136_Jiujiang Yuan Dong Chu Pin_2_3 (800x183)Small lidded serving bowl with beautifully painted unidentified flowers and foliage, c.6 ½”D. Handwritten red mark.

137_Jiujiang Yuan Dong Chu Pin_3_6 (800x203)Carmine ground teapot with a blue landscape in an ogival cartouche on one side and an inscription on the other, “Shou mei– Kun lao shang ren, qi xun da qing, Wan Shan Qing Jin Zhu” = Life eyebrow (stands for long life), Mr. Kun, his seventieth birthday and a big celebration, sincere wishes from Wan Shanqing. Handwritten red mark, but not in quite the same manner as the calligrapher of the pieces above.

138_Jiujiang Yuan Dong Chu Pin_4_7 (800x217)Set of plates, tray, horseshoe cups, serving bowls and wine pot in yellow graviata ground with blue and red chinese character ideograms. Stamped red mark. All the shapes in this set are very consistent for the Republic period.

139_Yuan Dong Gongsi_3_27 (800x185)Another part of the set above, but with variations on the marks, at least one (on the left) which is handwritten.

140_Jiujiang Yuan Dong Chu Pin_5_7 (800x238)Bowl with carefully rendered chinese character ideograms on a fine graviata ground, and with a unique carmine diaper upper rim border. Handwritten red mark.

141_Jiujiang Yuan Dong Chu Pin_6_8 (800x233)This lidded serving bowl, 19cmD, in lime green has ogival cartouches depicting roosters and inscriptions and a main cartouche showing a hawk on an elongate rock (possibly amidst stylised waves) with a lingzhi fungus, the sun, berries and a longer inscription. The shape of this serving bowl is the same as the floral bowls of this company (above & below), but the mark calligraphy is more ‘boxy’.  142_Jiujiang Yuan Dong Chu Pin_6_InscriptionLR (255x300) The inscription indicates this to be a gift to the regimental commander of the Central Military Academy, Ai Gong, special training class in Hunan, celebrating the 4th term of the of the 3rd group of the Hunan Security Regiment. Given by Mr Yu Xun. This commander apparently then went to Taiwan in 1949, dying in Taipei in 1970. I see a Bing Zi, 1936, date in the inscription.

143_Jiujiang Yuan Dong Chu Pin_7_8 (800x221)This teabowl set with goldfish and water plant foliage is of a typical Republic shape but the handwritten red mark is the least similar to other ‘Yuan Dong’ marks. However, it looks to be painted by the same artist as the bowl below, which has a dating to 1935.

144_Jiujiang Yuan Dong Chu Pin_14_27 (800x183)This bowl with goldfish and water plants was probably decorated by the same artist as the teabowl above, 12.5cmD. Handwritten red mark, rather scrambled. Inscription gives a dating to the  145_Jiujiang Yuan Dong Chu Pin_14_27i (300x159) 24th year of the Republic, 1935, but is otherwise untranslated.

146_Jiujiang Yuan Dong Chu Pin_8_12 (800x230)Sugar pot, 8.5cmH, with dragon medallions & phoenix medallions, a multi-coloured key fret and a spearhead and stylised wave border. Handwritten red mark.

147_Jiujiang Yuan Dong Chu Pin_9_12 (800x227)Teapot with bird and flowers, peonies and a pheasant on rocks, 14cmH, with similar painting of the bird to the Jiujiang Zhi An products. Handwritten red mark. The inscription is a poem about lifestyle.

148_Jiujiang Yuan Dong Chu Pin_10_14 (800x227)Large lidded serving bowl, 25cmD, with luscious pink peonies and foliage, beautifully painted. Handwritten red mark.

149_Jiujiang Yuan Dong Chu Pin_12_16 (800x231)This dish has a remarkable story – found with a Chinese silver dollar when a wall was removed for renovation, in China. The images are very poor but the inscription dates the dish to 1937 and was apparently given to commemorate Yun Lu Qin training with the Guomindang troops and fighting at the “Marco Polo Bridge incident” in that year. Handwritten red mark.

150_Jiujiang Yuan Dong Chu Pin_13_19 (800x235)Plate with bird and flower pattern, probably a willow branch and prunus blossoms, 22.8cmD. Handwritten red mark.

151_Jiujiang Yuan Dong Chu Pin_15_27 (800x218)Small lidded tureen with a peach finial on the lid, with a bird and peony decoration and an eight character inscription, 12cmD. Handwritten red mark.

152_Jiujiang Yuan Dong Chu Pin_16_36 (800x241)Small vase with a blue bamboo forest pattern, 22.5cmH. Handwritten red mark and an inscription giving a date of 1934 (23rd year of the Republic), rest untranslated as yet.

153_iujiang Yuan Dong Chu Pin_17_36 (800x228)This plate has a decoration of a pair of ducks on a lotus pond, usually meaning a wish for marital bliss, 15cmD. There are also blue overglaze floral sprays around the edge. I have not seen this particular version of this decoration before. Handwritten red mark.

154_Jiujiang Yuan Dong Gongsi_1_11 (800x259)A lidded serving bowl with a blue landscape of mountain, river and boat, 19cmD. Stamped red mark and 2 inscriptions. Note the change in the mark to ‘Gongsi’ instead of ‘Chu Pin’ for this company.

155_Jiujiang Yuan Dong Gongsi_2_17 (800x236)Small lidded serving bowl with a handwritten red marks, figural scenes, probably deities. Handwritten red mark. This serving bowl has a more highly domed lid than usual – a different white ‘blank’ supplier from Jingdezhen perhaps.

156_Jiujiang Yuan Dong Gongsi_3_27 (800x209)Bowl with Shou Lao with staff and peaches under a pine tree with bats in the sky, 16.6cmD. Handwritten red mark and a short inscription.

157_Jiujiang Yuan Dong Gongsi_4_30 (800x232)A dish with iron red chinese ideograms, very nicely done, 14.5cmD. Two short inscriptions, one saying ‘Wealth & Longevity’, the other ‘Seeking Longevity & attaining it’ – this dish was discussed on the Gotheborg Board.

158_Jiujiang Yuan Dong Zhen Pin_1_3 (800x218)Small lidded serving bowl with pink roses and foliage, also exquisitely painted, 16cmD. Handwritten red mark. Note the change in the mark to ‘Zhen Pin’ for this company.

159_Yuan Dong Gongsi_1_15 (800x202)Teabowl with immortals, 10.8cmD. Handwritten red mark. The mark form was used on a few items above such as the yellow graviata wares.

160_Yuan Dong Gongsi_2_15 (800x206)Teabowl with immortals, 10.8cmD. Handwritten red mark.

Jiujiang Zhen Chang (1 example)

161_Jiujiang Zhen Chang Ci Zhuang_1_20 (800x214)Large lidded serving bowl, 19.4cmD, showing a landscape with pagoda. Stamped red mark. Short inscriptions on the lid and base. 

JIUJIANG ZHEN DONG (6 examples) 

The Jiujiang Zhen Dong Company translates to ‘Rising East Company’ but I can find little more information.

162_Jiujiang Zhen Dong Ci Zhuang_1_12 (800x231)Small cup, 6.2cmH, with landscape of mountains, lake and pavilion. Stamped red mark. Inscription indicates that Mr Wang Yaolin gave this to Mr Ruihui as a gift, dated 1/8/1923.   

163_Jiujiang Zhen Dong Gongsi_2_2 (800x222)Stamped overglaze blue mark on a set of porcelain depicting the pine, peony and crane motif in an ogival cartouche on a plain yellow ground. The inscription on the larger pieces is aspirational “Pine, Crane, Noble, Rich”.

164_Jiujiang Zhen Dong Gongsi_1_2 (800x183)Stamped overglaze blue mark on a bowl, see above.

165_Jiujiang Zhen Dong Gongsi_3_10 (800x184)Teabowl with chrysanthemums and foliage, thin enamel colours 10.4cmD. Stamped overglaze blue mark.

166_Jiujiang Zhen Dong Gongsi_4_11 (800x223)Bowl with mountain, lake and pavilion landscape, 13.2cmD. Overglaze blue mark which looks handwritten.

167_Jiujiang Zhen Dong Gongsi_5_15 (800x208)Two footed bowls with an intricate landscape. Uncommon shape, strangely spaced handwritten red mark. Not authenticated. 

JIUJIANG ZHEN HUA (1 example)

168_Jiujiang Zhen Hua Chu Pin_1_3 (800x240)Handwritten red mark, another monochrome coral red bowl, but with a different and very distinctive calligraphic mark style, 12.5cmD. Product of Zhen Hua or ‘China Inspiration’. 

JIUJIANG ZHEN XI ZHEN PIN (1 example)

169_Jiujiang Zhen Xi Zhen Pin_1_29 (800x231)This plate has a vivid plain yellow ground, with cartouche containing figures in a bamboo forest and inscriptions. This pattern is usually done by the Jiangxi Porcelain Company, probably in its later years at the end of the Republic, and was mass produced – the examples I have seen are usually in poor condition. This example is of a much higher quality and has been kept in pristine condition. 

JIUJIANG ZHENG TAO (7 examples) 

There are seven examples shown below from the Zheng Tao Company or School in Jiujiang. All have handwritten red marks, and most are plates or dishes. There is a very early dated bowl, 1916, but I have not been able to discover anything about this company.

170_Jiujiang Zheng Tao Chu Pin_1_4 (800x234)Handwritten red mark. product of Zheng Tao, company or even a school name. Shallow dish/plate with medallions containing red dragons and stylised clouds and flames, and with a multi-coloured small keyfret and two-colour spearhead border, 18.6cmD.

171_Jiujiang Zheng Tao Chu Pin_2_6 (800x237)Puce landscape shallow bowl with a red mark, 20.5cmD. Handwritten red mark.

172_Jiujiang Zheng Tao Chu Pin_3_9 (800x241)Landscape dish with good detail and a short inscription, handwritten red mark.

173_Jiujiang Zheng Tao Chu Pin_4_14 (800x198)Small serving bowl lid with blue landscape, 11.5cmD. Handwritten red mark.

174_Jiujiang Zheng Tao Chu Pin_5_25 (800x171)Footed quatrefoil bowl with handwritten red mark, 10”x8”. Nicely painted chrysanthemums and bird.  Dated in the inscription to the 5th year of the Republic, 1916, so this is quite an early example, perhaps also indicated by this particular shape.

175_Jiujiang Zheng Tao Chu Pin_6_35 (800x236)Large tureen with an apple green glaze and a cartouche containing a very well painted peony & bird on one side and wisteria & bird on the other side, 18.8cmD. Many similar tureens with this kind of pattern, from other Jiangxi-wide companies, are much less detailed and painstaking. The best of this type I have seen.

176_Jiujiang Zheng Tao Ci Zhuang Chu Pin_1_9 (800x227)Landscape dish with a short inscription and a handwritten red mark.

177_Jiujiang Zheng Tao Chu Pin_7_38 (800x223)Large lidded serving bowl with dragon medallions, key fret and spearhead borders done in a similar way to other dragon medallion pieces from this city, 26cmD. Handwritten red mark. 

JIUJIANG ZHI AN (5 examples) 

The Zhi An company seems to specialise in Pheasant Peony & Rock decoration as well as Goldfish & Ceratophyllum (water plant).

178_Jiujiang Zhi An Chu Pin_1_5 (800x207)This beautifully painted bowl auctioned by Christies in December 2012, with the reverse inscribed and dated ‘nian si nian wu yue jiu ri’, or ninth day of the fifth month of the twenty-fourth year, i.e. 1935, 12.5cmD. Stamped overglaze blue mark.

179_Jiujiang Zhi An Chu Pin_2_16 (800x207)Bowl with highly coloured fanciful pheasant on a rock with pink and yellow peonies, 16.5cmD. Stamped overglaze blue mark. The inscription gives a date to the 24th year of the Republic, 1935, 9th of May, bought at Gan Xun. A subsidiary inscription says “Tiao Sheng Jia Yong Pin” or Tiao Sheng homeware product.

180_Jiujiang Zhi An Chu Pin_3_19 (800x224)Toothbrush holder with pheasant, rock and peony decoration. Stamped overglaze blue mark.

181_Jiujiang Zhi An Chu Pin_5_29 (800x208)Large lidded serving bowl with goldfish, water plants and the moon, 19.6cmD, short inscription. Stamped overglaze blue mark.

182_Jiujiang Zhi An Chu Pin_4_28 (800x247)Another serving bowl with goldfish and water plants, 19cmD. There are two short inscriptions and a stamped red mark. This rendition of the pattern is more like those of the Yuan Dong company than the example above. 

UNDECIPHERED & OTHER MARKS

183_Jiujiang Tao XX Chu Pin_1_33 (800x185)Small teapot with blue landscape on one side and a partly translated inscription on the other. No image of the base mark.

184_Jiujiang X Hua Chu Pin_1_14 (800x246)Bowl with a figure next to a pine tree, 12.5cmD. No mark, inscription gives a dating to 1925 but cannot translate the character above ‘hua’.

185_Zhong Hua Ming Guo Shi San Nian Yu Jiujiang Zuo_1_28 (800x232)Lidded serving bowl, 10 ¼”D, with detailed landscape and crane medallions. No base mark but an inscription which reads as above – and translates simply to ‘Made in 1924, at Jiujiang’.

186_Da Qing Guangxu Nian Zhi_1_37 (800x185)This very well and traditionally painted dragon and phoenix bowl, with a multi-coloured keyfret and stylised basal wave border, also has a ‘traditional’ handwritten base mark, pertaining to the Guangxu period of the Qing dynasty. Dated from an inscription in the interior of the bowl to the 20th year (of the Republic) to 1931. Many such bowls were made throughout the Republic with dynastic marks, but there is a small possibility that this is an authentic Guangxu bowl which has been inscribed at a later date.

187_Jiangxi Tao X Chu Pin_1_34 (800x210)This teabowl with a nice landscape has a handwritten Jiangxi base mark and an as yet untranslated inscription, 12.5cmD. However, the owner of the bowl talked about the Jiujiang Pottery School in his description so I assume that there may be some mention of this in the inscription (no ‘Jiujiang’ though) or at least the mention of a famous teacher or the like? If anyone can translate this inscription?

188_Yunshan Zhen Pin_1_36 (800x248)This is another late runner for this report. A lidded mug with green and pink blossomed prunus branches, a short inscription, 14.5cmH. The ‘Yunshan’ in the base mark refers to an artist called Lu Yunshan (1901-1974) who worked in Jiujiang from 1921-1925 before going to Shanghai, returned to Jiujiang in 1932-1937 when he settled in Jingdezhen. This is a good piece to finish on as I imagine that many Republic period painters had this kind of itinerant existence, working in many places, developing new styles and disseminating these patterns in the studios around the province.

Looking at all these Jiujiang examples the main thing that strikes me is the number of extremely well painted decorations of flowers and foliage. There are very individual painting styles and combinations which I feel sure could be traced to individual painting masters and/or their apprentices. Examples include the pheasant and peony decorations from the Zhi An company, the landscapes of the Zheng Tao company and beautifully rendered flowers from the Yuan Dong and Lei De Mao companies.

I think this city-based investigation of Republic period porcelains is quite interesting. A study of the mark calligraphy of these companies and others throughout Jiangxi would be very interesting. Who were these calligraphers? Did they also do the decorations? Why are they so distinctive to this period?

The range of examples above allows speculation that the artists produced their ‘ranges’ in their ‘red kiln’ studios, patterns specific to them, and then sold them to several shops in Jiujiang, each with an appropriate ‘shop’ mark. This would explain why similar patterns are found with a range of different marks, although there were some which were ‘exclusive’.

The following patterns stand out:

  • Puce or Blue Landscapes, also including the blue bamboo forest examples
  • Flower & Bird, particularly chrysanthemums, with some companies specialising in particular birds, such as the bright coloured pheasants from the Zhi An company or the bluebird and forget-me-not pattern
  • Dragon and Phoenix medallions, each done in a very ‘provincial’ style, not slap-dash at all, but colourful and artful, compared to more conventional examples (from Jingdezhen?)
  • Plain coloured ground pieces with cartouche containing landscapes, birds, flowers and/or inscriptions
  • Goldfish and waterplants, naturally painted – the plant translates to ‘Ceratophyllum’
  • Yellow Graviata with red and blue chinese character ideograms, also including the refined iron-red chinese ideograms on a plain white ground.
  • ‘Birthday’ pattern of an elongate rock with bamboo, nandina, lingzhi and narcissus on a crisp white ground.
  • Apple green slipcast pieces, usually with a Qilong, scroll & keyfret decoration
  • Other patterns including deities, dragon & phoenix, standard multi-coloured landscapes, millefleur, He He boys, blue ground Bao Xiang Hua.

It is also fascinating to track the patterns peculiar to a particular shop, factory or workshop, like the apple green straw blown examples above, or even the very distinctive monochrome coral bowls. As we decipher pieces with inscriptions, it may throw out more connections.

In addition it will be interesting to understand the relevance of the suffixes of the base marks: Gongsi, Chu Pin, Zhen Pin, Ci She, Ci Zhuang, especially if they have some relative dating significance. Perhaps they don’t mean much at all…..

Best wishes, Michaela Russell, Sydney, Australia

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s