Green press-moulded wares, Republic of China (& earlier)

It is the very lovely variations in green glaze which make this pattern and pieces so beguiling. This pattern is easy to recognise as the decoration is applied before the glaze and is moulded, leaving a pattern in relief. Then the glaze is blown through a straw or other device onto the moulded form and fired, leaving a slightly thicker, deeper coloured glaze on the non-raised portion of the decoration.

This particular Late Qing and Republic version is quite distinct in that only a few patterns are used and the mould does not have high relief so that the pattern is often quite subtle.

The Patterns

 Of the 35 examples shown here the patterns which are moulded are as follows:

  • a Qilong amongst a floral scroll with moulded keyfret (24) = 66%
  • a Bao Xiang Hua or lotus scroll version (8) = 22% (one with a double shou character)
  • a stacked keyfret pattern (2) = 6%
  • a bat & beribboned coin version 1 = 3%
  • a prunus blossom pattern 1 = 3%

The Origins

 Press-moulding (or techniques similar) with these scroll patterns and scale has been used on ceramics since at least the Qianlong period, usually with a celadon ground. They are rare, high end vases and the like. Mid Qing (Daoguang and Jiaqing) pieces are also found with the more turquoise shadings. It should be noted that most monochrome celadon wares which show relief are incised or carved rather than moulded.

BR 307

BR 307 closeup

This mark & period Qianlong vase was sold at Christies in 2009. Provenance: removed from the Summer Palace, Beijing in 1860, by reputeLord Loch of Drylaw (1821-1900), by repute Alfred Morrison MP (1821-1897) and thence by descent to Lord Margadale of Islay. The ground is described as ‘crisply moulded in shallow relief’ (as opposed to carved or incised, thus this is probably moulded in some way).

The Marks and Dating

As you will see in the images below there are a range of marks, with most coming from private companies, particularly the Jiujiang Guang Hua company. There are some earlier pieces, with a peach and bat mark, handwritten Guangxu and a handwritten Qianlong seal mark, all late Qing in my opinion. The rest are Republic period, except for the Xuantong hallmarked example and the Jingdezhen circle mark, the latter being earliest PRC.

Press-moulded mark statistics, from 35 examples

Private company         10

Qianlong 6      H         5

S          2

Qianlong 6 seal H       3

Qianlong 4      S          4

Guangxu 6      H         1

S          1

Jiaqing 6 H                  1

Daoguang 6 seal H      1

Jurentang Zhi Seal H 1

‘CHINA’                    1

Jingdezhen (circle)      1

Peach & bat Red         1

Hallmark Xuantong    1

No mark                      2

Published Examples

  1. From The Complete Collection of Porcelain of Jiangxi Province: Porcelain of the Qing Dynasty

Complete Coll Jiangxi Slip Cast Qing (1) (250x245) Complete Coll Jiangxi Slip Cast Qing (3) (246x250) Complete Coll Jiangxi Slip Cast Qing (4) (400x317)

2. From The Complete Collection of Porcelain of Jiangxi Province: Porcelain from the year 1912-1949 (I)

Complete Coll Jiangxi Slip Cast Repub (1) (300x296) Complete Coll Jiangxi Slip Cast Repub (2) (285x300) Complete Coll Jiangxi Slip Cast Repub (3) Complete Coll Jiangxi Slip Cast Repub (4) (400x270)

3. From The Complete Collection of Porcelain of Jiangxi Province: Porcelain from the year 1912-1949

Complete Coll Jiangxi Slip Cast Repub 2 (1) (400x253) Complete Coll Jiangxi Slip Cast Repub 2 (3) (300x296)

Complete Coll Jiangxi Slip Cast Repub 2 (2) Complete Coll Jiangxi Slip Cast Repub 2 (5) (300x276)

4. From “Republic of China Porcelain 2010”

Republic of China Porcelain Slip p16 (1) (400x318) Republic of China Porcelain Slip p16 (2) (396x400)

Republic of China Porcelain Slip p16 (3)

5.  From Simon Kwan’s “Chinese Porcelain of the Republic Period 2008”

This example, of course, harks back to its Qianlong predecessors rather than being part of the newer pattern discussed here. However, it is included for exactly that reason.

Kwans Slip Cast (1) (206x300) Kwans Slip Cast (2) (237x300) Kwans Slip Cast (3) (191x300)

The Images

The pictures below are divided according to shape and show the full range of wonderful green and turquoise colours possible, as well as the different ‘moulded’  designs, and all the different marks. One could just as easily group these by design and you may see a different set of elements or insights. I haven’t detailed each example but if anyone is interested they are welcome to contact me for further information.

Bowls

1_CCC152 02_CCC289 03_CCC461a 04_CCC838 05_BR0437 06_CCC154 07_BR0454 08_BR0144 Xie Zhu Ren Zao, a Xuantong mark, note similarity to published bowl, above.

09_BR0595 10_BR0201 11_BR0645 12_BR0006

Teabowls

13_BR0334 14_BR0701 15_BR0703 16_BR0796 Mid-Late Qing

Plates, trays, dishes

17_CCC686 18_CCC969 19_BR0207 19a_BR0362 20_BR0533 21_BR0775 22_BR0799

Serving bowls

23_CCC659 24_BR0329 25_BR0772

Spoons

26_CCC769

Teapots, sugar pots, milk jugs, tea sets, tea cups

27_CCC172 28_BR0496 29_BR0486 30_BR0643 31_BR0645a 32_BR0735 33_BR0485 34_BR0172 35_BR0650 36_BR0958

Again, I hope that this report has expanded your knowledge of Republic period patterns. In a way I see these pieces as representing part of the monochrome tradition in Chinese ceramics into the C20th. Best wishes, Michaela

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2 thoughts on “Green press-moulded wares, Republic of China (& earlier)

  1. Is there a section in your blog on Shen de Tang? I have a vase with that marking and I don’t find much information on the porcelain made for the Old Summer Palace. Would like to know how to tell the fake from the real. It is a beautiful vase with intricate painting and translucent porcelain. I also have a unique Foo Dog Jar. If you want to see that mark and a photo of that jar let me know. I read your section on the foo dog changes. Mine does not have the ball with the ribbon in the mouth, the ball/ribbon is painted separately. I think mine has an artist’s mark on it as well.

    • Hi there, I don’t have a section on Shen De Tang marks I’m afraid. There are many C19th, early C20th and C21st century pieces with this mark, but I haven’t studied them – maybe someone else should give it a go! Thanks,
      Michaela

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